City looking to buy firetrucks

Published 9:47 pm Friday, March 21, 2014

The Selma Fire Department could have a new fire truck next month, if the Selma City Council approves a measure that would cost nearly $1 million over nine years.

The council’s public safety committee met Thursday to overview two purchase options for fire trucks.

The first option would allow the fire department to purchase the truck in April 2014 and a second truck in April 2015. The fire department would pay about $160,000 per year on the two trucks until April 2021. The department would pay less than $100,000 in April 2015 and April 2022. The second plan would function similarly, but spread the payment out over an additional year.

Fire Chief Mike Stokes said the numbers were rough estimates and the cost could change slightly with interest rates.

Stokes said the purchase is necessary to replace two aging trucks, one of which is more than 20 years old.

“The oldest truck is considered an open cab and the back part of the truck is non-conforming,” Stokes said during a previous city council meeting. “Technically we shouldn’t be using it. We are required to have at least one truck in reserve.”

He said the purchase would allow him to get rid of the truck made in 1988 and place another in reserve.

After hearing Stokes’ proposal during Thursday’s meeting, the council suggested earmarking $160,000 per year from the half-cent sales tax fund to pay for the purchase, meaning the trucks would be paid off by April 2022.

“The half-cent fund brings in about $1 million per year and we really don’t have any of it obligated, other than for employee raises,” Williamson said during Thursday’s meeting.

Though the public safety committee agreed on a proposal, it still must be approved during a regularly scheduled council meeting to make the purchase.