The Athens City Council appears likely to approve the purchase of two new city fire engines.
The Council reviewed a bid of $1.375 million for the two engines at its study session last Monday. The Council will vote tomorrow on whether to approve the purchase from Pierce Manufacturing with funds specifically set aside for such a purchase out of the city’s Fleet Management Fund.
If approved, the two engines will replace the city’s two existing engines, one of which having been in service for a quarter-century. The old engines will be auctioned once the new engines are put into service.
By prepaying in full upfront by Sept. 22, the city will receive a discount of nearly $59,000 on the purchase.
“(The Athens Fire Department) have spent countless hours researching, looking at equipment, and making sure that they’re being very thorough with this 20-year purchase,” said City Manager C. Seth Sumner.
Deputy Fire Chief Tim Schultz — a 30-year member of the Athens Fire Department — called this potential purchase a “unique” opportunity. He noted that the city has not purchased two engines at once during his tenure.
“That’s very important in our line of work so we can spec these trucks identically,” said Schultz.
Having two identical trucks means city firefighters won’t experience differences depending on which truck they are utilizing.
Mayor Chuck Burris — himself a longtime first responder — praised the selection of Pierce Manufacturing as the vendor.
“There’s none better,” said Burris. “They stand behind their stuff.”
Fire Chief Brandon Ainsworth said the potential purchase is “a big deal for not only the Athens Fire Department, but the City of Athens as a whole.”
Ainsworth explained that the trucks will come substantially equipped with items that must be affixed in some way to the truck. These items are included in the purchase price.
Upon approval of the purchase, Ainsworth said the trucks will be completely built in 12 to 13 months.