By Ryan Berry
GREENVILLE — Will the Greenville Fire Department get a new vehicle? Greenville City Council will need to answer that question by the end of the month if they want to save six percent on the cost. The council is expected to hold a special meeting next week to discuss the issue.
Ryan Delk, safety/service director, addressed council regarding purchasing a new truck to replace the 1974 Mack truck and a 1997 Pierce pumper truck. The city originally asked council for the new truck in 2018. It is designed to perform the duties of both trucks. The city continues to put money into the pumper truck and recently replaced the vehicle’s clutch. “We’ve had a lot of issues with it, lately,” said Delk. The city is the third owner of that truck that was purchased in either 2007 or 2008.
Chief Russ Thompson and Delk were originally trying to tie this to 2023 Capital Improvement Project funds, but quickly learned if they could sign contracts by Oct. 31 they could save six percent of the cost, which would total over $70,000.
When the city requested the truck in 2018, the cost would have been approximately $690,000. In 2022, the cost is $1.2 million. If the city is able to order the truck by the end of the month, it will still take 31 months before the truck is delivered.
“My question for council is, are we interested in pursuing this truck? If so, we need to have a special meeting to get legislation together to sign the contract,” said Delk. He said if the city were to finance $1.2 million over 10 years at a 4.81 percent interest rate, the payment would be approximately $154,000 a year.
The city has one more payment on the ladder truck in 2023. That payment is approximately $111,000.
The pumper truck is a manual transmission and continues to have issues. “It’s probably worse today,” said Chief Thompson. “The younger generation doesn’t know how to drive a manual in the first place. Then we are trying to teach them to drive a really hard manual, which is even worse.”
“If we bought both vehicles separately, we would be asking for another $400,000, at least,” said the chief. “We’re actually going to reduce our fleet by doing this. Which not only saves the capital we need for the purchase – we’ll have less insurance and less maintenance because we’ll be one apparatus shorter in the fleet,” said Thompson.
“The best option is to pay the first payment for this new truck in 2023 and then you’ll have 10 equal payments of that,” said Delk. By paying upfront, the city would save another $68,000. Another option would be to pay the interest for the first couple of years and then when they take delivery to pay 10 payments.
In other business, council:
* Learned the North Ohio Street project has been awarded to Brumbaugh Construction. They are expecting the project to be completed by August 2023. The timeline is dependent on supply chains and product availability;
* Learned the YOLO Park restrooms are expected to be completed by Memorial Day 2023;
* Learned the Veteran’s Day Parade will be held on Broadway beginning at 10:45 a.m. on Nov. 11.
The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Municipal Building.