The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

March 9, 2014

City making plans to buy new fire truck

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — The City of Greenville is about to buy a new fire truck, and thanks in large part to an anonymous donor, it will be paid for in cash.

The Greenville City Council is scheduled Tuesday to approve the $655,900 purchase of a Pierce Fire Rescue Pumper and equipment for the Greenville Fire-Rescue Department.

The vote is included under the regular session agenda, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street. A work session is also scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The fire department currently has an aerial truck, three front line engines, one reserve engine and one reserve aerial truck.

The city has not purchased any fire trucks in about six years and one of the reserve pumper trucks, a 1993 fire engine, has been the source of repeated maintenance issues.

In a memo to the council, Finance Director Cliff Copeland explained that the reserve units — which also include a 1998 aerial truck — are utilized when one of the front line vehicles is out of service for repairs or maintenance.

“There have been a few occasions when two of the front line trucks have been out of service at the same time requiring both reserve units to be placed into service,” Copeland said.

Unfortunately, despite the need, the city’s budget situation has been pretty tight and there was no money on hand for a new fire vehicle in the current budget.

City Manager Massoud Ebrahim had said he did not intend to issue debt to pay for the truck, maintaining he wanted to build on an account until it reached the $500,000 range before considering financing for another fire engine.

But an anonymous donor contributed $150,000 in November, again in December and also in January.

“Additionally, $200,000 has been reallocated from unspent funds of other capital projects (fire training tower, parks & rec equipment, other equipment)”, Copeland said. “This in conjunction with the anonymous donation will allow the City to purchase a fire engine using cash and zero debt.”

The engine itself will cost $555,900, with another $100,000 included for the purchase of equipment.

“The add-on equipment will be purchased through multiple vendors and includes rescue equipment, hose, nozzles, extinguishers, and other implements,” Copeland said.