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Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Celina fire chief explains upkeep costs on trucks

By William Kincaid
CELINA - Maintenance costs of the city's 34-year-old aerial ladder fire truck and 30-year old pumper tanker have exceeded $10,000 the last three years, according to fire chief Doug Wolters.
At this week's regular council meeting, Wolters discussed the status of the city's two fire trucks that council is considering replacing.
Wolters showed pictures of rust on both vehicles.
He said the aerial truck's cable - used to run electrical controls to the bucket - has dry-rotted and split and needs replaced at an estimated cost of $6,500.
"This cable here ... has electrical tape on it," Wolters said as he showed a picture.
The pumper tanker has little heat and needs body work too, which Wolters estimated between $5,000 and $20,000. Also, its speedometer and fuel gauge do not work properly, he said.
He said maintenance costs during the last three years were $4,667 for the aerial ladder and $8,397 for the pumper tanker.
The trade-in values of both trucks combined is $7,000, Wolters said.
The cost to refurbish the vehicles would be staggering, according to Wolters. He said refurbishing should have been sought when the vehicles were 20 years old; now, it is not feasible.
"Basically you're replacing the whole truck," he said, adding the city would have to comply with all contemporary safety standards.
City council members this week approved second reading of an ordinance to purchase two fire vehicles from Sutphen Fire Trucks of Dublin for $1.38 million.
If legislation is approved, the city would purchase a 2010 demonstration model aerial fire truck with a 100-foot ladder for $908,735 and a new pumper tanker for $463,967.34. The deal also includes a $7,297 allowance for structural changes that may be needed on the trucks.
Additionally, the city also plans to purchase $52,320 worth of equipment for both vehicles.
Purchasing the two trucks now, instead of waiting until later in the year, will save the city $135,750.88, fire chief Doug Wolters said. New emission standards for engines and inflation are expected to increase costs, he said.
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