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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 2, 2012

Village to buy $400K truck for fire department

VOORHEESVILLE — The village board voted Wednesday to purchase a long-awaited new fire truck at a cost of $398,300.

In the summer of 2009, Frank Papa, who was then Voorheesville’s fire chief and is now on the volunteer company’s truck committee, proposed the village buy a new truck, for about $320,000, which the board ultimately turned down.

Village Trustee David Cardona said at a workshop last week that Voorheesville received three bids from companies that build fire trucks.

“One is too high, and one is not meeting the specs,” Mayor Robert Conway said about the specifications the fire truck committee developed with the help of independent contractor EVR.

“The higher one isn't meeting the specs” for some of the items, said Papa.

Both Cardona and Trustee Richard Berger are members of the fire department. They told the board that the department prefers and needs a top-mounted pump, instead of a side-mounted pump, as described in one proposal. The top-mounted pump costs $4,300 more because of the extra length it adds to the vehicle, the board said.

This week, Berger said that the length added would be 30 inches, and that it would fit inside the department’s garage bay.

The village’s vehicle fund currently has $316,888 in it, according to Cardona. Conway expressed concern about spending $400,000.

“This next budget is going to be a lot different,” Cardona said last week. “It is what it is...$316,000.”

Papa said that, if the village places the order now, the first payment would not be due until 2014.

Cardona said that the village also needs to keep some money in the vehicle fund for the public works department.

“My department should be good for a few years, anyway,” said Superintendent of Public Works Will Smith.

“If something happens, and you need a loader, you need a loader,” Cardona said. He asked for Conway’s opinion. 

“I'd like to do anything but spend $400,000,” Conway said. He suggested that the fire company check to be sure that the pump adds only $4,300, instead of $50,000 for an entirely different truck.

This week, Fire Chief Dave Gannon confirmed the additional price of $4,300.  The village would take possession of the truck in March 2013, with payments beginning the following year.

“That gives us a year and a half to pony up some more money,” Conway said, noting that the amount in the vehicle reserve fund is $80,000 short of the truck’s cost.

“When it gets closer, we’ll have to do a referendum to use the money from the reserve fund,” said Clerk-Treasurer Linda Pasquali.

The truck proposal also included funds for two village representatives to make two trips to the manufacturer to see the vehicle before and after construction.

“What is the gain of having someone go out and inspect it?” Conway asked this week.  He also asked who would be qualified to know if it were being constructed correctly. He suggested that  removing the travel costs could reduce the amount spent on the truck.

EVR representative Tom Shand told the board, by phone, that a preconstruction meeting would let Voorheesville firefighters see the layout of controls and the type of chassis used.

“The value of that, to me, is really paramount,” Shand said, “something I would highly recommend you folks do.”

Shand agreed to represent the village for a reduced cost of $400 for the trip, as travel expenses are included in the company’s proposal.

The board agreed to accept the bid by Garrison Fire, for Rosenbauer manufacturing, as long as the manufacturer is able to resolve issues not followed or mentioned in the specifications.

Rosenbauer’s proposal, for example, indicated different lights than the village requested for the truck.

— By Jo E. Prout

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