Fire dept. to upgrade equipment

FLINT TWP. — The time has come to replace the fire department’s utility/ staff vehicle.

At the request of Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burkley, the township board has approved the purchase of a 2016 Chevrolet 4×4 Tahoe at a cost of $36,609.

It will replace a 2003 Ford that has more than 102,000 miles on it and is in need of repair, Burkley said.

Burkley presented to the board in 2015 an Apparatus Replacement Schedule to show the need to maintain a sound fleet.

The new vehicle is being purchased through the Oakland County collective bid process and will be obtained from Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids.

Trustee George Menoutes, who frequently advocates supporting local businesses, asked if any local dealerships could match the price. Burkley said he checked around and they could not.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller let it be known that she and Burkley have been discussing moving forward on other replacement vehicles. She said more purchase requests will follow. Prior to renewal of a fire equipment millage last November, Burkley supplied a schedule showing that equipment needs within the next five years will include new engines in 2016, 2017 and 2019 at a cost of $450,000 each. Other planned purchases include an Air/ Light Truck to be purchased in 2018 for an estimated $250,000 and a second utility vehicles in 2020 expected to cost about $35,000. Fire trucks are the department’s biggest expense, Burkley said. The department has a fleet of six engines. Maintenance costs are mounting for two back-up engines purchased in 1991 and a third engine purchase in 1996.

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