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Board of Works approves new vehicle purchase

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Brazil Board of Public Works and Safety met for a meeting Wednesday and accepted a request for a new fire department auxiliary vehicle, as well as a bid for a construction project.

Brazil Fire Chief Jake Bennett was on hand to explain the request.

Bennett said the current vehicle he uses -- a used Chevrolet Blazer -- has started to wear down.

"(The Blazer) was fairly new when it was bought," Bennett said. "It's not really an emergency vehicle ... it's not a durable enough vehicle -- but it has served its purpose here with us."

Bennett said the Blazer, which is approximately 12-years-old, doesn't have a lot of mileage on it, but he noted that it has a lot of hours on it because it runs constantly with its lights on at scenes, which has caused wear and mechanical issues.

"What I'm looking at is trying to replace it with a vehicle and in a similar fashion with what (Brazil Police) Chief (Clint) McQueen did with the squad cars," Bennett said. "(It's) a state bid, which allows government entities to purchase vehicles for a lot cheaper amount than what the public pays."

He said the discount for the Kelley Chevrolet, Fort Wayne, 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe he has chosen would amount to $11,000 off the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), from $41,437 to $30,398.75, and can be purchased at an interest rate of 2.5 percent through Riddell National Bank, Brazil.

According to Bennett, the Tahoe will be funded with a down payment of $20,000 through the non-reverting Fire Department Equipment Fund, which is a high estimate and also includes the cost of equipping the vehicle with lights and radio equipment, among others. The yearly payments would then be budgeted out at $5,000.

Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham added people sometimes question why the city wouldn't purchase locally, but said the state bids allow the cars to be purchased for much cheaper.

According to Bennett, he contacted other area fire departments during his search for ideas of other ways the new vehicle could be utilized, which include the ability to more effectively manage a scene, through communication and accountability, among others.

"I looked at a couple different options of types of vehicles and this Tahoe is the one that best fits the needs of the department," Bennett said. "In that rear area there's shelving, (where) you can keep reference materials."

Bennett said the reference materials -- which include information about what chemicals are on site at industrial facilities -- would be much easier to utilize if they can be transported to scenes.

Board member Linda Messmer said she supported the request.

"I feel if there's a need and they have a financial plan (it's a legitimate request)," Messmer said "It sounds like, to me, we're jeopardizing the safety of our own firemen by keeping this vehicle."

Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham said he feels it is important to upgrade equipment in an effort to be more proactive, and he added it might not get any cheaper than it is now.

After talking it over, the board decided it was in agreement and approved the request for the purchase of the new vehicle.

Meanwhile, the board accepted the bid from Plant Brothers Excavating and Construction for a Clay Community Parks Association (CCPA) project at Craig Park that has been in the works for a number of years.

Plant Brother's base bid totaled $148,562, with one alternate bid totaling $57,968 and the second $18,223.

Abby Richards, project manager with HWC Engineering, stated at a previous meeting, the base bid work is for a stone trail surrounding Water Works Lake at Craig Park, while the first alternate bid is for an asphalt trail, and the second for alternate bid for restroom.

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if you want to save money , let the fire chief do what they used to do. ride to the fire on the truck with the rest of the firemen.

-- Posted by grays on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 9:32 AM

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