Lake Elmo to purchase new fire engine

The Lake Elmo City Council approved the purchase of a new fire engine and some updated rescue equipment at its July 3 meeting.

The new fire engine will replace two existing vehicles slated to be replaced: a fire engine and a utility vehicle. Other equipment to be purchased includes cribbing, airbags, hoses, hydraulic tools and struts.

City Administrator Kristina Handt explained during the July 3 meeting that the council had last discussed the purchase at its April workshop, which ended with concerns about the $680,000 cost of the new fire engine being over the $625,000 set aside for the project. 

She said that following the workshop, staff identified a utility vehicle slated for replacement next year that will no longer need to be purchased, freeing up an additional $75,000 for the fire engine purchase.

“In order to come in at that $700,000, [the truck committee is] willing to delay, if necessary, the purchase of an air compressor and radio headsets,” Handt said.

As set by a unanimous city council vote, the total cost for the truck and equipment is not to exceed $700,000. Council member Julie Fliflet was absent for the vote.

In addition to the money budgeted by the city for the replacement of the two fire vehicles, funding will come from grants, donations and the sale of the outdated fire engine and utility vehicle.

“We understand the cost of this vehicle was expensive to say the least,” said Lisa McGinn of the public safety committee. “We believe the city, staff and the public safety committee and the truck committee have done due diligence to reduce the cost of this vehicle.”

“The equipment not only saves lives but it also lessens the risk for public safety personnel during a crisis,” she added.

Mayor Mike Pearson thanked city staff and committee members who worked on the project, adding “I’m glad to see us kind of moving forward with a piece of equipment like this. It’s needed.”

 

— Aundrea Kinney

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