The city goes shopping for a fire engine

Macomb selectmen on Tuesday committed to purchasing a new pumper truck for the fire department.

With the city’s intention officially announced, Rosenbauer America of Wyoming, Minnesota, will build the truck for the city at a cost of $741,000 and deliver it in about eight months.

“This is a commitment to purchase the truck when it is built and ready,” Fire Chief Gary McKenzie said.

“Then, if you decide you don’t want it, you’re on the hook for $2,500. It’s very cheap to reserve a fire engine.”

City Manager David Myers said he has spoken with several banks about financing the purchase and has received quotes.

Selectman Tommy McKenzie said accepting financing would have to wait until closer to the delivery date, so the city doesn’t accrue interest before the city gets the truck. He pointed to the possibility of interest rates falling somewhat as well.

The council also reconsidered a tax abatement granted downtown in the city’s Depot District.

Randy Eckman, owner of Fox’s Pizza Den, has asked that his abatement for improvements at the restaurant’s new location on Main Street be revised to last 10 years, instead of seven. City ordinances contain provisions for both terms, which Eckman was aware of when he filed his application.

The council unanimously overturned the previous approval and granted the longer term.

In other work, the Council:

• Alcoholic beverages were approved for service at an event held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.

• Approval of the lease contract for Alpha Center.

• Waiving the $750 fee to fill the pool at Edgewood Park for the Azalea Crowning in March of next year.

• Accepted a quote of $3,550 per month from Schmidt Sweeping and Lawn Service for lawn service. Schmidt replaces Little Dixie.

• Certifying two new vehicles, a Ford F-150 and a Dodge Charger, as unmarked police vehicles.

• Accepted budgets for Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center and Macomb Pike County Airport. Board members Matt Codding and Bruce Mullins voted against accepting the hospital’s budget, with Coding saying he had questions he wanted answered before accepting the budget.

• Purchased two Dodge Chargers from Pine Belt Auto Group in Hattiesburg.

• Paid $7,147 to the Pike County Sheriff’s Department to house city prisoners in July.

• Codding’s request to raise each board member’s budget by $1,490 was voted down, by a 1-5 vote.

• A revised claim list for $311,000 was approved, with invoices already paid not included in the report.

• Admitted municipal county revenue of $31,265 and business licenses of $5,095.

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