The Coon Rapids Fire Department’s existing ladder truck has been sold.
Back in December 2011, the Coon Rapids City Council approved the purchase of a new aerial fire truck for $1,006,419, including a Hurst tool, hose and nozzles, a camera, mechanic training and other smaller items of equipment, to replace the 1988 model.
The current truck has been sold to the city of Cannon Falls for $200,000, which will reduce the net cost of the new truck.
According to Fire Chief John Piper, the delivery of the new truck is expected to be in June.
Under the memorandum of understanding with the city of Cannon Falls, which has been approved by its city council, the expected transfer of the truck will take place in July.
When Piper presented his recommendation for the purchase of the new truck cooperative purchasing contract with the Houston-Galveston Area Council, which would produce discount savings, to the council, he had projected a trade-in value of $150,000 for the existing truck.
The 2012 city budget includes $1,145,000 for the purchase of the aerial fire truck.
The city will issue 10-year equipment certificates to pay for the truck. That will appear for the first time on the 2013 tax levy. The payment amount each year will be some $110,000 depending on the interest rate of the certificates.
According to Piper, rust and corrosion are an issue with the 1998 truck, caused by the chemicals that are put down to keep the roads safe during the winter.
But he said under the city’s vehicle replacement schedule, the truck should have been replaced in 2010.
Councilmember Jerry Koch asked if the city could have got more years of the existing truck, given the $200,000 trade-in that the city is receiving.
According to Koch, Cannon Falls is anticipating spending $10,000 to make some repairs to the truck and there seemed to be some discrepancy.
But Piper said that the $10,000 would enable the fire truck to be certified for just one year.
To keep the fire truck for more than one year – and it was already a year over the replacement schedule of 13 years – a major refurbishment would be needed, which could cost anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000, he said.
And while the fire truck was out of action for refurbishment for several months, the fire department would have to find a replacement truck, Piper said.
“This is the only platform ladder truck we have,” he said.
The department needs to have functional equipment at all times, according to Piper.
Koch said he appreciated the response and was not in favor of a Band Aid approach.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]