Archive for Wednesday, July 23, 2003

City to purchase truck for fire department

July 23, 2003

Baldwin can soon expect a new fire truck.

The Baldwin City Council approved in a 4-0 vote Monday night to allocate money originally budgeted for the School Resource Officer for a new fire truck, as well as a new patrol car and police equipment. Council Member Todd Cohen was absent from Monday's meeting.

The city had originally budgeted about $53,000 to fund the SRO for this school year, but because the Baldwin School District can not afford to contribute any money for the SRO position, the council decided to allocate the money for fire and police equipment.

Larry Francq, Baldwin's assistant fire chief, said the government is preparing to pass new apparatus standards for fire departments, which would mean one of Baldwin's fire trucks -- a 1967 Chevrolet -- wouldn't meet the new safety requirements.

"Anything prior to 1980 is not allowed to be upgraded," Francq said.

The Baldwin Fire Department also has a 1980 Ford fire truck, which he said the department would be able to keep as a reserve unit.

He said the department would like to replace the 1967 fire truck with a new pumper unit, one that would cost between $150,000 to $160,000.

He anticipated the city paying around $18,000 a year for 10 years if a new truck was purchased.

"We can get a demo truck for around 148, 149 thousand dollars," he said. "A lot of the equipment can be taken off the '67 Chevy and put on the new truck, so we wouldn't have to do a lot of purchase with other equipment."

Baldwin would be able to sell the 1967 truck to another fire department, but only for around $3,000, Francq said.

Under its approval, the council budgeted $18,000 to the fire department for a new truck and $16,300 to the police department for a patrol car and other equipment. The remaining SRO money, nearly $18,000, will be used to reduce the mill levy.

Francq said the fire department would begin to look at fire trucks that would fit in the budgeted amount.

In other business, the council:

  • Set the public hearing for the budget for the 2004 fiscal year for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Baldwin City Library. The budget is currently set at $10,203,417 with a mill levy of 36.574. That's lower than last year's budget of $15,413,671 with a mill levy of 38.431.

One of the reasons for the difference in the budget is last year's $8.5 million set aside for capital improvements. Only $600,000 has been earmarked for capital improvements for 2004.

  • Approved the employment contract, with an annual salary of $66,000, with Jeff Dingman as city administrator. Dingman begins as Baldwin's new city administrator on Monday.
  • Discussed increasing the retail water rate 12 percent, from $4.52 to $5.07 per cubic foot. Utility Director Terry McKinney said the increase was necessary to fund the capital water system improvement project, which includes the installation of two 750,000 gallon water towers and the extension of the 12-inch water main from Sixth and Baker streets to the west water tower.

The rise in costs also covers the increase in rates that Lawrence charges Baldwin for water treatment.

It was the first reading of the ordinance. The council will decide on the water rate increase at the next council meeting.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.