Council OKs about $1.4M for vehicles

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously approved borrowing nearly $1.4 million to purchase new vehicles for the city Transit and Fire departments.

In August, the city decided, after years of being turned down by the federal government for a grant to buy a new ladder truck for the Fire Department, it would buy one on its own.

The Transit Department will acquire four large and small buses through the purchase.

According to the resolutions, the city will borrow money for the vehicle purchases using serial bonds, with the ladder truck having a maximum estimated cost of $990,000, while the transit buses have a maximum estimated cost of $390,000.

Commissioner of Finance Bruce Van Genderen said the city will be reimbursed 90 percent of the cost for the transit vehicles, but the city must spend the money in order to receive that funding.

The council previously awarded the bid for the ladder truck to Sutphen Corp. for $979,583. Both Rosenbauer and E-One provided lower bids, but upon review of the bids, officials determined they failed to meet the city’s specifications.

The city needs a truck with an aerial platform with pumping capabilities that includes at least a 100-foot aerial ladder, a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump and a tank capacity of 500 gallons.

The department fights fires in all buildings regardless of height, but the aerial device is needed for elevated master streams and reaching heights greater than two stories for rescue, fire suppression and other operations, Fire Chief Beth Whitman-Putnam said.

Gloversville has 129 buildings that are three stories or taller.

The city’s last ladder truck, with a 110-foot aerial ladder, was taken out of permanent emergency service in November 2011 after it failed inspection because of corroded and broken parts.

Whitman-Putnam said the department should have the new ladder truck by June.

Officials said they expect the transit buses to be ready for service in about a year.

Despite the large purchases, Mayor Dayton King said he believes the tax rate in the city will remain flat going forward.