The Williamsburg Fire Department will soon have its first ladder truck.
During Monday’s regular monthly meeting, the Williamsburg City Council approved the purchase of a used 100-foot aerial platform 1999 Sutphen Custom Fire Apparatus fire truck, and financing for the purchase.
“It has some nicks and bangs, but everyone is tickled to death,” noted Mayor Roddy Harrison. “I think we have a pretty good buy.”
He said that Charles Wynn has been helping the city for years in its effort to locate and purchase a ladder truck, and that this one came from Florida.
The owners had originally wanted $225,000 for the truck, but when Wynn informed them the city could only afford to pay $150,000, they agreed to sell it to the city for that amount, Harrison said.
Wynn has put the logos and lettering on the truck in addition to 10 new tires.
The truck has about 30,000 miles.
Harrison noted that it would cost between $600,000 – $1 million to purchase a new ladder truck that is similarly equipped.
Harrison said the city got quotes from four local banks on financing for the purchase, and he recommended the city finance the ladder truck with Whitaker Bank, which offered a fixed rate of 3.25 percent for five years. This will result in a payment of $2,712.33 per month for five years.
Harrison noted that all four banks were close in terms of their financing offer with payments ranging from $2,789 to $2,712 monthly.
Councilman Richard Foley asked why the truck was on the market.
Harrison said that Williamsburg Fire Chief Larry Todd told him some cities have a mandatory turn around time for getting new fire vehicles.
Harrison added that some cities have a fleet replacement plan for all their vehicles, like Williamsburg is attempting to do with its police vehicles, where they look to sell older vehicles when they have the maximum resale value and before the vehicles start accumulating too much cost in terms of maintenance.
The city recently purchased 11 new SUV’s for the police department, and Harrison said the city is close to formalizing a fleet replacement plan with Enterprise for all of the city vehicles except for garbage trucks.
Enterprise projects that the city could save about $400,000 over 10 years with the fleet replacement plan for all of its vehicles, Harrison said.
In addition, the city likely will have to purchase a new garbage truck next month, Harrison said.
Councilman Loren Connell noted this will be the second garbage truck purchased in the last two to three years, but the city likely won’t have to buy one again after next month for several more years.
During Monday’s meeting, the council also had the first reading of an ordinance to adopt George Hayes Road as a city street.
On April 17, a portion of George Hayes Road collapsed about 1.5 miles from Briar Creek Park and the collapse is at least 25 feet in length and runs the width of the road.
Harrison said the city primarily explored two different funding mechanisms to get money to repair the road, but has since abandoned efforts to try and get Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding.
Instead, the city is attempting to get state emergency municipal road aid money to pay for repair.
It is unclear the amount of emergency municipal road aid funds the city will get. Harrison said the funding could cover between 75 – 100 percent of the costs.
“We are moving forward with the fixing of George Hayes Road. We are in the engineering stages of that right now,” Harrison noted.
Williamsburg received state emergency municipal road aid funding to replace a bridge at Briar Creek Park that was damaged when a tile under the bridge washed out in late April 2017.
The total cost of that repair was about $35,000 out of which the city was able to get $25,000 in state emergency funds.
As part of the application process, state officials informed city leaders that George Hayes Road was still listed as a county road on state maps even though the city has maintained it for years and city maps lists it as a city street, Harrison said.
Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. sent the city a letter on July 6 giving consent for the city to annex the road into the city street system.
A second reading of the road adoption is expected to take place at next month’s regularly called meeting.
In addition Monday, Connell complimented the Williamsburg Police Department for organizing the ALICE training program, which took place Monday and Tuesday.
ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate and is a useful strategy for everyone: law enforcement, schools, universities, hospitals, businesses, and places of worship.
The goal of the ALICE program is to provide individuals with survival- enhancing options for those critical moments in the gap between when a violent situation begins and when law enforcement arrives on scene.
Connell, who is also an administrator at Williamsburg Independent School, noted that the training, which is being attended by law enforcement officers and educators among others, challenges some of the conventional thoughts people have on how best to secure a school during an emergency.