Since before $400,000 was set aside in the city of Wadena's 2019 budget, Fire Chief Dean Uselman and other fire department staff have been looking at options for a replacement pumper truck. Now nearing the close of summer, they've narrowed it down to two potential vendors and council members unanimously approved a purchase of a new pumper up to $379,346 during their Tuesday, Aug. 13 regular meeting. That amount was the price of the higher of two bids, however that was from the Sourcewell approved vendor, Heiman Fire Equipment. According to Uselman, there is not another Sourcewell approved fire truck vendor.

The other bid came from Midwest Fire Equipment at a price of $372,996.

"These are big numbers,” Uselman chuckled.

Uselman recommended going with the Heiman truck, but further research into the other company was being finalized to determine the best truck for the fire department.

While the fire department has the go ahead to make their choice, it will still be 13-16 months before delivery once a choice is made. Payment is due on delivery and that payment would partially involve bonding. Uselman said the city would need a cash advance of about $87,000.

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This truck will replace a 1986 pumper from from Alexandria, "which was a patch to replace a 1973 pumper," Uselman said.

Past pumper trucks from the city have sold for just a couple thousand dollars and have gone to collectors, looking for a relic. City councilman Bruce Uselman wondered what the current pumper truck might be worth, which the fire chief speculated was a small amount.