Nick McWilliams reporting – New Philadelphia is continuing talks related to purchasing a new heavy rescue fire truck.

The proposal, first put on the table by Chief Jim Parrish, would see the city approve roughly $1.47 million for the new vehicle, replacing a 2003 model.

The truck currently used has recently given some problems to the department, which Parrish says is common as the truck is already two decades old, and would likely be 25 years old by the time a new purchase could arrive. 

“[Two weeks ago,] we had a problem with the airbags and the leveling system. When that truck starts up, it pumps the back end up, so its level. And it compensates for that as its going down the road versus having leaf springs on there. That being said, it squatted, and it wouldn’t come back up. They thought it was the pump, then they thought it was a leak, but it ended up being some check valves in there.”

A week after that issue led to a $3,000 bill, the problem recurred, leading to another $5,000 expense. Parrish says that the smaller problems will likely persist over the next few years due to age.

As was discussed before, he has some concerns of rising costs for new vehicles that could put the department in a further bind down the road if they wait for a purchase.

Councilwoman Cheryl Ramos had concerns about interest rates on loans three years in the future when the purchase could be completed. Auditor Beth Gundy says that with a new contract on the way with fire and EMS services for Goshen Township that could pay for the purchase of the truck, it’s difficult to tell whether or not the negotiated terms would be enough to cover the costs. 

“It’s speculative revenue to be able to pay for this. What we have coming in from the township right now pays the two debts that we have for an engine and a ladder truck. And it’s a $1,000 short actually. If the new contract with a greatly increased amount from Goshen Township doesn;t materialize, you will not be spying for this.”

The wait time for the new vehicle could take roughly 1,050 days, or as long as three years, due to the complexity of newer response vehicles.

The Safety, Health, and Service Committee voted to move the discussion for consideration by the full council, where multiple readings are expected.

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