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Verndale city council moves swiftly on fire truck bargain

The Verndale City Council approved a $50,000 down payment to purchase a 2004 pumper tanker truck to replace the fire department's outdated trucks.

Councilman Bruce Koppenhaver described the truck as "the fire department equivalent of only being driven to church on Sunday."

The truck has never fought a fire, said Mayor Wayne Stave. It was used as a demo at shows.

The council held an emergency meeting last Thursday afternoon after receiving news the fire department had found a truck for $156,200 at Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus in Union Grove, Ala.

"It's a good price for the truck," said Mayor Wayne Stave. "I was shocked yesterday when I found out that they got it down that low."

The seller reduced the price when the fire department said it would pick the truck up, Stave said. It comes with a six-month warranty.

At the August council meeting firefighters requested the city help purchase a truck to replace the department's outdated pumper truck and tanker truck.

The city will need to borrow between $90,000 to $95,000 to pay the balance of the truck, which is due 60 days after the purchase, said City Clerk Dawn Nelson.

The city has never borrowed to purchase a truck before, Stave said. But this truck fits the department's needs. Right now, between the relief association and the fire department there is around $72,000 available to purchase the truck.

In addition to the cost of the truck the city will need to spend around $8,000 to outfit the truck, Nelson said firefighters told her. She does not think financing will be a problem. There are three options for the city to examine.

"We know we need a truck," Koppenhaver said. "We need to do something to get the process started."