By CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — A new firetruck will roll into Ottumwa’s north fire station within the next year.
The City Council unanimously approved the nearly $1.07 million purchase of a new aerial fire apparatus from Rosenbauer America at its meeting Tuesday night. It will take nine months to a year for the new truck to arrive.
“We started this process about a year ago,” said Fire Chief Tony Miller. “You guys know exactly what’s been done and what got us to this point. At this point now is where we need to accept the bid and get it ordered.”
Miller said getting the truck in the station was his main concern, but it will be designed to height specifications.
“If we can’t get the truck in the station, we’ll have more problems than normal,” he said.
Rosenbauer’s northern regional sales manager, Roger Parker, said his engineering staff will build the truck to the specifications of Ottumwa’s north fire station, meaning it can be a maximum of 11.4 feet tall.
“I spent a lot of time looking at different firetrucks out there that we might be able to buy and get a really great deal,” said Councilman J.R. Richards. “But I could never find anything that would fit in the station and still do the job it needed to get done.”
That’s because the majority of firetrucks today are 12 feet or taller, Parker said.
The 1977 American LaFrance snorkel that the new truck will replace was already taken out of service due to ongoing maintenance issues, Miller said. The new truck will also push the department’s reserve truck, a 1990 Mack Pumper, to the airbase, which will improve service to Ottumwa’s north side and could increase its ISO rating.
“We had a dinosaur livin’ up there and we didn’t even know it,” Richards said of the 36-year-old firetruck.
The council also approved the $38,895 purchase of loose equipment that will be attached to the new truck.
“About a month ago we realized if we separate the equipment from the fire truck, we’ll get a better price,” Miller said. “And we’ll install it ourselves, which will save the city money.”
While Richards was worried that the firefighters installing the equipment themselves could “mess up” the warranty on the new truck, Parker said fire departments do the install themselves all the time and there’s never a problem with the warranty.
“Originally, I wanted us to look for a used vehicle that would have some good years of service left in it, but through the process I found that almost all of these trucks are built to specs,” Richards said.
The city council also passed the second consideration of the revised nuisance ordinance.
Three considerations are required to pass before the ordinance can be adopted and published. The full revised ordinance can be viewed at www.cityofottumwa.org.