New Philadelphia is moving forward with the purchase of a $1.4 million rescue truck
- New Philadelphia is considering spending $1.4 million to buy a new rescue truck for the fire department.
- The current car is 22 years old and has required service twice in recent weeks.
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Council has taken the first step toward purchasing a new $1.4 million rescue truck for the New Philadelphia Fire Department.
Council members had intended to pass an emergency resolution on first reading on Monday, but that did not happen. Councilman Steve Repeth was absent, and six votes were needed to pass it as an emergency. Councilwoman Cheryl Ramos voted against suspending the rules, leaving the resolution short by one vote. She did not give a reason for not voting. The council will discuss the issue again later this month.
Fire Chief Jim Parrish is asking the council to purchase an Enforcer HDR (Heavy Rescue) truck from Pierce Manufacturing to replace the 22-year-old rescue truck. Due to the high demand for fire equipment, it will take 2.8 years before New Philadelphia receives the new vehicle.
The $1.4 million price is only good through November. Parrish noted that firefighting equipment prices rise by 12% to 17% each year.
Problems with current truck
Councilwoman Kelly Reklich asked how many times the current rescue truck has been out of service in recent years.
Parrish said the department had problems with the vehicle’s suspension system. It has been out of service twice in recent weeks and has cost management $8,000 in repairs.
“You see there are more and more little items that you have to replace and work on,” Reklik said. “It’s starting to cost us nickels and dimes, and those nickels and dimes could be used for a new car, and we’re talking three years from now if it was ordered today.”
He said purchasing a new rescue truck is a good investment for the citizens of New Philadelphia.
How will it be paid for?
The truck will be paid for with money the town of Goshen pays the city for fire service, Parrish said. This money goes to the Capital Improvement Fund. Currently, the majority of this amount has been used to pay for new equipment purchased by the city. In recent years, the city purchased a new engine and ladder truck for the fire department. But he expects the amount the town of Goshen pays will increase in the future.
Auditor Beth Gundy offered a note of caution.
“I just want the council to know, if you go ahead and pass this, it is speculative that you will be able to pay for this,” she said. “What we got from the Town of Goshen now pays off two debts we owe for the engine and the ladder truck. If the new contract that includes a significant increase in the amount from the Town of Goshen is not executed, it will not pay for this.”
“The contract hasn’t been signed yet. So, you don’t know what you’re going to get in three years,” she added.
One of the debts on the vehicles goes through 2031 and the other goes through 2042. Money coming from the town right now is tied up for a fair number of years, Gundy said.
Parrish said he wasn’t trying to push the City Council to do anything he wasn’t comfortable doing.
“But you have to know, with the next guy, when he comes in here and says, ‘Hey, the salvage truck we were talking about was $1.4 million, and now it’s $2.1 million. Don’t be shocked. Don’t be surprised, because that’s the trend we’re seeing.’
Annual Police Auction
The council was also unable to pass first-reading legislation approving the police department’s annual auction of surplus equipment. Ramos voted “no” on suspending the rules and gave no reason for her vote.
Mayor Joel Day said this year’s auction will be online for the first time at the recommendation of Police Chief Tessa Bohovi. It is scheduled to run from November 8 to 17. The auction will be conducted by Rick Keffer Auctions. Keffer is the brother of a retired police officer who was in charge of the auction.
Legislation is needed to advertise the auction.
Ramos wondered whether the legislation could be passed without naming the company conducting the auction. Legal Director Marvin Fite said there was no requirement to identify the auctioneer. The city can choose anyone it wants.
“The sooner we announce, the sooner we can announce,” Safety Director Greg Popham told the council.
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