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Council approves new fire truck

NOV. 10 UPDATE: In a 10-6 vote, council approved the purchase. Voting against were Steve Graham, David Harrison, Janice Maynard, Brad Nieman, Dianne O’Brien and Roy Pennell.

NOV. 9 – The municipality’s Corporate Services and Finance Commission recommends the County fire department’s 1988 50-foot aerial truck be replaced with a 107-foot Ascendant aerial at a cost of $1.2 million for delivery in 2016.

In a report for council’s meeting tomorrow night, staff found estimates of costs for repairs to the torque box, engine, transmission, pump, rims and tires “substantially higher than the rough costing of $101,200” estimated earlier. Refurbishing of the 27-year-old vehicle will also require a significant amount of time and if fully-functioning, the unit would be worth between $10,000 to $15,000.

The report notes repairs should allow the truck to operate for a few more years, but does not allow the reduction of the fleet, anticipated during the Fire Master Plan process, and a replacement pumper to meet insurance Underwriter’s criteria that will be required at a cost of $350,000.

Replacement of the aerial was included in the a Fire Vehicle and Equipment Reserve established in 2012. The draw from the reserve is to be $800,000 leaving a balance in the reserve of $399,064. The remaining $400,000 would come from development charges.

Fire Chief Scott Manlow, in the report, notes functions of two trucks would be combined into one. In the three year period 2012-2015 the pumper stationed in Picton responded to 240 calls and the aerial to eight, an average of more than 80 calls per year.

“Should council approve the new aerial, this unit would be the first-run truck to all these calls and the fire fleet would be reduced by eliminating one pumper, thus reducing future capital and operating costs.”

Council had required additional information from its Oct. 27 meeting asking about availability of parts and viability for repairs.

The report notes “investing $25,000 into one repair without factoring in the cost to repair the entire truck is shortsighted”.

Two emergency vehicle repair facilities were contacted and both noted minimum costs:
rebuilt torque box: $25,000
new engine: $34,000
new transmission $29,000 (replacement no longer available)
pump $8,000
tires and rims $5,200

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  1. Sandra says:

    This new ariel ladder truck has a life expectancy of 20 yrs. The old truck was better, it lasting 28yrs. They don’t make them like they used too. Hey, that old truck is an antique !!!! wonder who will buy it for their antique collection.

  2. Marnie says:

    Lighten up Gary. That was tongue in cheek, but if one were to gauge it by size alone it would seem the new LCBO is one of the most important buildings in town. It dominates the west end of town.I doubt that the senior gals of the county are the ones who will keep it in business Chuck. They could never sip that much wine.

  3. Fred says:

    So the County gets the new fire truck. The trio from Ameliasburgh all voted in block against per usual.

  4. Susan says:

    Don’t like them coming back with all the other repairs required after the fact. Not good reporting of the issues or a lot of things have broke down in 2 weeks.

  5. Jack Dall says:

    If in fact the transmission is wore out. How long has it been? . When were we going to find out?
    When it could not respond to a fire call? Does anyone drive around when their transmission is about to fail. Are business,s and citizens at jeopardy presently? Should the fire chief be questioned on this matter?
    I think that it is Champagne tastes on our beer budget.

  6. Paul Cole says:

    I agree with Jack Dall although the truck is 27 years old for the engine and transmission to be wore out the Fellows at the fire hall must have been using it as a daily driver a grocery getter to wear out those major components

  7. Chuck says:

    I think the senior women in the County would call it a disaster. Just with wine alone they are probably the largest consumer.

  8. Gary says:

    Marnie; what’s your point, are you suggesting we hold a liquor store in higher regard than other property? Also the chances of a fire in the new LCBO are minimal. Not sure it would require an aerial truck. Perhaps the owners of these buildings that require a million dollar plus truck have a user/owner fee. Kinda like water & wastewater.

  9. R. Rich says:

    I think if the old truck is repaired it is worth 1.2 million to us as tax payers. Is that what the new one costs and it is going to do the job the new one is expected to do.
    The county can always use the $600,000.00 they got from Essroc for the environmental fines it they had to pay to help finance this

  10. Marnie says:

    @Gary If the old Piroth building were to catch fire it would be reported as an unfortunate property loss. If the LCBO went up in flames it would be declared a county disaster.

  11. Joe says:

    There are many buildings within Prince Edward County that require the Fire Department to have a fully capable aerial truck that would reach the height or reach from the roadway that the existing non functioning 30 year old truck will not reach. Let’s take for example the Edward building, new Wellings building behind McFarland Home, Downes Ave. Stinson Block the list goes on and on.

    How many of these buildings are occupied by vulnerable senior citizens who might not escape in time such as the sad case which occurred in Qubec where so many lost there lives in a nursing home fire. What if the cement plant burns and closes and this community loses 200 valuable jobs. Do people really believe that if Belleville agreed to respond with an aerial that the hour it would take for it to get here would make a difference. What about our insurance rates. I bet they will be going up because of this.

    I only pray that no one is injured or killed because our Fire Department was not given the proper tools to do they’re job. And as for the 2 or 3 individuals who like to claim they have 30 years of experience and think that this truck is not needed shame on you!

    I trust that council will only look at the facts provided by staff and not the opinions of a few people who think they have the experience to influence what’s best for us all.

  12. Chuck says:

    Yes, you have to be up to the job!

  13. judy kennedy says:

    wow…so glad I’m not in municipal politics. my sympathies

  14. Susan says:

    At last Council the truck needed a new torque box. When purchase of a new million dollar baby was not received well, it suddenly requires an engine, transmission, pump and tires & rims. Why was this not identified up front?

  15. Jack Dall says:

    Why are a new engine and transmission required? How many kilometers are on the existing vehicle. . Of all the vehicles the County owns you would think that this vehicles maintenance regiment would prevent this condition to exist. New rims and tires can become cracked over time. Pumps wear out. Engines and transmissions ?

  16. Gary says:

    LCBO really isn’t that tall it’s just because it’s so close to the street that it appears like that. The old Piroth apartment building just down on Main is taller. I guess the question is whether the taxpayer can afford every piece of protection equipment that one would have in a perfect world.

  17. Marnie says:

    The new liquor store will be one of the tallest buildings in town. We have to protect that for sure.

  18. judy kennedy says:

    Sounds like rehabbing the old (27 years) truck would be a waste of money. Safety and function are what are called for here.

  19. Paul Cole says:

    The Prince Edward Building the Royal quite a few apartment buildings all with in Picton that would need this type of truck…

  20. Ken Globe says:

    Well one truck will replace two older trucks. As for structures, there are a few churches, a bunch of buildings at the cement plant, a silo or three and a few barns around the county where the extra reach would be handy.

  21. Gary says:

    How many structures in Prince Edward County within reasonable reach of the fire department require this aerial type truck?

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