Danville will buy new ladder truck for $1 million

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Danville will spend a little more than $1 million to buy a new ladder truck for the city’s fire department.

City commissioners approved the purchase of a Pierce ArrowXT Tandem 107 fire truck at their most recent meeting.

“It’s top-of-the-line when it comes to firetrucks,” said Tim Brumfield, assistant fire chief.

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Danville’s current ladder truck is a 1993 Pierce fire truck with a 100-foot ladder tower. Brumfield said some parts are no longer made for the truck and it’s possible if something breaks on it, the city would be unable to repair it.

The new truck will be a 2018 Pierce truck with a 107-foot ladder. The truck will have improved safety features, ladder controls and more that were not available when the city bought its current truck in 1993, according to a presentation by Brumfield.

The new truck could take a year to arrive. It will be 12,000 pounds lighter than the city’s current, nearly-25-year-old ladder truck; and it will be able to navigate many tight turns in the city that the current truck can’t, Brumfield said.

“This is probably the lightest steel ladder (fire truck) on the market,” he said.

Danville got another bid for a ladder truck that would have been cheaper — Ferrrara bid one for $977,683. But the company did not meet the city’s requested specifications on 32 different items, Brumfield said.

The city hasn’t decided what to do with the current ladder truck, but has time to make up its mind before the new one arrives, Brumfield said.

A discount of almost $51,000 is available to the city on the ladder truck if it pays 100-percent of the cost up-front, but Chief Financial Officer Michele Gosser said in order to do that, the city would have to wait six months to order the truck until it would have the bonding capacity to pay all of the money at once.

The total price without discount is $1,053,242.31.

Brumfield said in addition to its ladder, the new truck is also capable of pumping water.

“Especially while it’s under warrantee, we will be using this truck first out like an engine company for quite some time,” he said.

The city budgeted $1.5 million this year to acquire a new ladder truck. It was one of a handful of new spending items identified by city leaders as essential to maintaining current services, including replacing the crumbling downtown fire station and replacing a Second Street bridge not rated for fire trucks’ weight.

To cover the new costs, the city commission passed increases to its payroll and net profits taxes. A worker making $30,000 inside city limits will pay an additional $120 annually as a result of the payroll tax increase; and a business making $100,000 in profits will pay an additional $500 annually as a result of the net profits tax increase.

In related emergency-services business, the city commission has also authorized paying $30,200 to Tip Top Contracting to renovate space in the city hall basement that’s planned to be used as the new home for the city’s 911 call center.

Tip Top was the only company to submit a bid for the city’s request, City Manager Ron Scott said. Tip Top has done work for the city before on its salt storage building, soil storage building and the pergola feature in Weisiger Park, Scott said.