BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Later this year, expect to see three new fire engines on the streets.
At the March 19 Independence Township Board of Trustees meeting, Fire Chief Mitch Petterson presented the department’s plans to spend nearly $2 million on two new trucks and a quint – a cost that was included in the 2018 Capital Improvement Plan.
A quint is a fire apparatus that serves the dual purpose of an engine and a ladder truck, providing five features – pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders.
The purchase price is $538,708.67 per engine and $949,147.30 for the quint unit, with a prepayment discount of $37,153.69, for the total purchase price of $1,989,410.95. This purchase will require a budget amendment to transfer unspent funds in the amount of $1,331,610.00 from the 2018 CIP and an additional $657,801.00, for a grand total of $1,989,411.00.
The additional funds required are available in the CIP Fund Balance.
“In April of 2016, we came before the board to discuss our current apparatus and vehicle fleet, what we had at that point and what we were looking to adjust to truly continue to evolve,” said Petterson. “You see things happening in the community that, when you go back to when I was a kid, none of this stuff was here and every couple of years, another road or another corridor was built up.
“As the community evolves, we certainly have to evolve as a department, not only in size, but in terms of our capabilities.”
The two engines to be purchased will replace two currently in-service engines and the quint will replace both one currently in-service engine and the current ladder truck. All three engines being replaced will be sold at a later date.
The three new engines will be purchased from the Sutphen Corporation, based out of Dublin, Ohio. Fire officials will also travel to Dublin on five occasions in 2019 to inspect the building of the engines.
The Board approved the proposal to spend the monies on the three new fire engines.
“These are important things, and these are trucks that will likely outlive my career at this point,” noted Petterson. “Just because of timing, (the trucks) are going to be here a period of time and have to serve this community.”
The time frame on building the new trucks and delivery to Clarkston is approximately 9-10 months, said Petterson.