New fire truck on order

FLINT TWP. — It’s official. The township fire department is getting a new pumper truck early next year.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burkley said it typically takes about 11 months for a new customized truck to arrive, after the order is placed.

After soliciting bids for the truck, at its April 18 meeting, the township board unanimously accepted a bid of $473,065 from Halt Fire INC. the sole bidder.

The cost for the Pierce fire pumper truck includes a $5,000 trade-in allowance for a 1991 Pierce pumper the township owns and also a $21, 039 discount for prepaying the full amount. A $10,000 contingency fund also is included.

The order will be placed with Pierce Manufacturing Inc., based in Appleton, Wisc. Ed Levy, the salesman, who was present at the meeting said Pierce accepts the 1991 truck trade-in as a courtesy because is worn out and has little or no market value. It will probably be parked and displayed.

Trustee George Menoutes questioned whether $5,000 is the most the township can get for the old truck. Burkley said yes.

Menoutes also questioned the warranty in view that previous trucks purchased in 2008 have ongoing repair issues. Levy said some 25 warranties come with the pumper truck but he did not have them all memorized.

Menoutes also asked for an explanation of the $10,000 contingency payment. Levy said it is to cover the cost of any later additions or changes to the truck, within the agreed upon price. If not spent, the money is refunded when the truck is delivered, he said.

Burkley also said the truck was selected by a committee of experienced firefighters who have been with the department as long as 20 years. The truck was chosen for function rather than looks.

Trustee Frank Kasle asked why no other bids were received. Burkley said bid packets were sent to four major pumper manufacturers and a bid solicitation notice published in the newspaper Only one other response was received from a second company which said it would not be placing a bid.

Burkley added that Pierce is a reliable manufacturer that backs it warranty. Two trucks bought in 2008 were built by a different manufacturer and have had ongoing maintenance and warranty issues.

Burkley said the department’s two 1991 engines bought from Pierce have served them well but it is now time to put them out to pasture. Noting that the truck price requires a good chunk of fire millage equipment funds, Kasle also asked if any consideration was given to buying a good used truck.

Burkley responded that refurbished trucks don’t hold up well.

Levy added that refurbished trucks do not come with a warranty, therefore breakdowns can be expensive to fix.

“You will be well-protected (by warranties) with this truck,” Levy said.

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