As councilor Paul Christian pointed out at council tonight, going new as opposed to leasing vehicles for the fire department has already sent them over budget.
The fire department bought 4 new vehicles instead of leasing 5 vehicles at at cheaper rate.
The fire chief said the plan was to buy pre-owned originally but he said there was no value on the market currently to do that.
Councilor Christian was struggling with the fire chief’s math during his explanation as he said they could only get 3 years out of a used vehicle and possibly 12 out of a new one.
The chief again had an answer that if properly maintained by them a new vehicle would last that long.
These vehicles are used for business in and outside of the community.
They are pooled to the force.
Councilor Sandra Hollingsworth asked why can’t a car allowance be given to use personal vehicles?
The chief had an answer for that too. The vehicles need to retrofitted for large presentation cases.
Hollingsworth asked that there be leeway because the city is down in tax revenue and the chief said there was no room for leeway.
Hollingsworth said there must be other solutions looked at.
Councilor Marchy Bruni pointed out that they got by with less vehicles and now for some reason need more.
Councilor Joe Krmpotich asked if any of the maintenance is going to be logged. The cheif said it would. Krmpotich then asked if the chief was going to be using any of them and he responded “yes. All of them.”
The fire chief did say that he uses these vehicles for his travels back and forth to his out of town residence.
“I don’t understand what is difficult of putting a box in the back of a vehicle,” said councillor Ross Romano.
The chief got rather annoyed with the comment and it went back and forth between the two.
“I think we need to look more into this,” Romano said.
Two of the people using these new vehicles could not even be talked about in open council because of grievances within the fire department!
“I don’t think this is a good time… it doesn’t sit well with me chief,” said councilor Judy Hupponen.
Councilor Hollingsworth questioned the CAO what he is doing to save money.
The matter was pulled from the consent agenda and a recorded vote was asked for.
The motion was passed.