Salinas (CA) Approves $2.3M for Fire Equipment

In less than 20 minutes, Salinas City Council approved a consent agenda that grants the Salinas Fire Department about $2.3 million in equipment requisitions — without affecting the general fund.

“It’s not a general fund impact,” Fire Chief Ed Rodriguez said. “The general fund is the fund that’s sick in the city. It’s not fire mitigation fees, it’s not CSA-74 fees. We’re happy all the items we have before you tonight don’t even impact the general fund.”

Currently, the fire mitigation fund is $544,000 rich, down from $900,000 earlier this year before payments were made on several items already on the lease-to-payment track, Rodriguez said. Composed of fees on construction square footage, the fund will be more than enough to cover the equipment requisition costs over the course of seven- and 10-year financing plans.

Among the items approved unanimously (with Councilwoman Gloria de la Rosa absent) were the purchases of a $1.1 million tiller ladder truck, a $537,000 fire engine and a $360,000 aircraft firefighting vehicle. The tiller truck and aircraft firefighting vehicle will be paid out over a 10-year time period while the engine, which typically runs out quicker, will be paid out over the course of seven years.

Furthermore, the Fire Department has been in talks with the Salinas Municipal Airport to split the cost of the aircraft firefighting vehicle. The Airport Commission is slated to discuss the item on Feb. 27.

Also approved was $40,000 in firefighting equipment necessary to maintain “mission control,” Rodriguez said. The equipment will be used to bolster current fire apparatuses.

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