Borrowing for new fire truck passes

Alternative Approval Process fails: Ashcroft moves ahead with borrowing money for a new fire truck.

The Village of Ashcroft is going ahead with borrowing nearly half a million dollars to buy a new fire truck after the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) failed to gather enough signatures by Oct. 13. Only 47 response forms were filled out: 148 were required to defeat the proposal.

“I’m very happy we got that result,” said Coun. Barb Roden.

“I think there’s a number of people happy,” added Mayor Jack Jeyes.

“That would be a big hit to the whole Village if we do not keep up our fire trucks,” said Counc. Alf Trill. “It would double the insurance rates.”

“I agree completely,” said Coun. Al Mertens. “Some people feel it’s a waste of taxpayer’s money. I tell them it’s the cost of doing business. Every municipality knows there’s a 20 year life on fire trucks. Keeping them up to date is the cheapest form of insurance anyone could have.”

Mayor Jeyes alluded to the fact that municipalities are governed by rules to provide adequate services to taxpayers when he said, “It’s a decision that was out of our hands.” He added, “But with better equipment, we can be assured that our firefighters are going to come home.”

The job ws awarded to HUB Fire Engines and Equipment Ltd. of Abbotsford.

“The cost of the Fire Truck, including additional fire hoses, comes to $393,979,” said Village treasurer Yogi Bhalla. “HUB has agreed to waive a downpayment and our payment will occur in two installments.”

The first installment will be when the chassis and pump are delivered in approximately five months, and the balance will be paid upon delivery of the completed truck in about 11 months.

He said the method of payment “significantly reduces our interest expenses in the first year.” With taxes, the cost of the truck is $421,558.

HUB was one of three companies who quoted on the truck.

“I’m glad we’re able to go with HUB,” said Roden.

Even though the chassis is being built in the US, HUB is based in Abbotsford, “So we’re providing jobs in BC,” she said, “even if they are in the Lower Mainland.”

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