Hefty price tag for new City fire truck

The Lacombe Fire Department is set to receive a much-needed new fire truck, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

The Lacombe Fire Department is set to receive a much-needed new fire truck, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

City council approved the tender of the new pumper engine during their regular council meeting on Jan. 12th.

Fire Chief Ed van Delden told council the replacement of Engine 1 was envisioned some time ago.

“The City’s Engine 1 is a cab-over design fire truck built in 1990,” he said.

“The truck serves as the City’s primary fire suppression unit within the City and is also the primary pumping unit for the City.

“The unit is 100 per cent owned by the City and is funded entirely from City sources.”

The replacement of the soon-to-be 25-year-old truck was mainly driven from a reliability perspective and also by the fact that it would no longer be considered insurable by insurance underwriters in regards to protection grades, said van Delden.

In 2013, a committee was formed to develop a list of operational and safety requirements for the replacement of Engine 1.

Lacombe City council included the replacement of the truck in the 2014 capital budget.

Three bids in total were received by the City, which were all well over the original budgeted amount.

Rocky Mountain Phoenix, an American-based company, was awarded the tender as the selected bidder that met all of the needed requirements.

The original projected cost in 2013 for the truck was set at $350,000.

With the added cost of meeting compliance standards, inflation, the addition of a foam supply unit, the depreciation of the Canadian dollar and an additional $4,000 for outfitting the truck, including nozzles, clamps and other hardware, the total price tag for the truck sits at $573,300.

To meet the funding shortfall, council voted in favour of moving $100,000 from the fire reserve and $123,300 from the MSI Capital Grant.

van Delden noted that most fire suppression equipment is manufactured in the United States, this means the City faces additional costs when the Canadian dollar plummets.

Councillor Grant Harder noted that the truck was $216,000 over the original budgeted amount for 2014.

“That was a terrible inaccurate forecast,” he said.

Council voted unanimously in favour of the expenditure.

The new truck is expected to be ready next year.