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Ferrisburgh to purchase new fire truck

FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh selectboard on Aug. 4 signed a contract to purchase a new firetruck for $397,100 in 2016.
According to town officials, the new pumper truck will replace what the Ferrisburgh Volunteer Fire Department calls its “primary attack engine.” 
The department has already set aside $90,000 in its capital fund over the past three years, and Ferrisburgh Fire Chief Bill Wager said the department will add another $30,000 in the next fiscal year for a total down payment of $120,000.
Wager said the department is saving money by working with a financing firm that is technically calling the purchase a lease. The finance company will pay the manufacturer during the building process instead of waiting for the truck to be finished, Wager said, for instance, reimbursing the manufacturer for the chassis when that component is complete.
That willingness to do so is saving the town considerably on the list price, he said, while preserving the town’s ownership interest.
“It’s just a technicality,” Wager said. “At the end of the day we still own the vehicle.”
After the $120,000 down payment, Wager said the town will have to pay about $32,000 a year for 10 years to finance the truck. The first payment will come in the town’s 2016-2017 budget, not in the current year’s budget.
Wager is confident the truck will far outlast that payment schedule, noting, for example, its stainless steel body — he called it a good value, especially with the financing deal.
“It’s engineered to meet the town’s needs for over 20 years,” he said.
The new truck is badly needed, Wager said. It will carry six firefighters and replace a 23-year-old vehicle that can carry three firefighters and is beginning to show its age.
“The truck has been out of service several times in the last few years, and the maintenance costs have been climbing,” he said.
Wager said the fire department has itself funded the purchase of its other vehicles: a tanker/pumper and two smaller support vehicles. The department will also fund the roughly $100,000 of equipment and outfitting costs its newest vehicle will need when it is ready next spring or early summer — firefighters hope to sell plenty of chicken at the department’s annual barbecue thus coming Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Route 7 fire station.
They are also excited about having a new truck a year from now.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” Wager said. “It’s just going to give us a much better platform to work from.”

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