'Inflated pricing, overly competitive market' in seeking fire truck replacement

City to get new fire truck

After much wrangling, the City of Vernon will be getting a new fire truck.

The city started the process of looking for a new fire truck earlier this year and in September Fire Chief David Lind said a replacement truck would cost an additional $500,000 over what had been budgeted.

The cost in 2023 for the desired model is $1.5 million, while the same rig in 2019 sold for $800,000.

At the Sept. 25 council meeting, Coun. Kelly Fehr said council has no choice but to find the funds.

“It boils my blood just thinking it’s going up that much. We have no choice – this is price gouging at its worst,” he said.

A report that will be presented to council Monday says “while executing a project to purchase a replacement fire engine/rescue, the city encountered inflated pricing, an overly competitive market, limited inventory, few fixed pricing options and excessively long build times.”

To overcome these challenges, council approved additional funding and the city released a notice of intent (NOI) to purchase, which closed Nov. 16.

The city received three proposals, all of which fell within budget.

“Two of the proposals could deliver a build within one year, however, their pricing would be subject to any manufacturer increases. The project was awarded to Commercial Truck Equipment, who provided a fixed price and will deliver the engine/rescue within budget in February of 2024,” the report states.

The report does not state how much the new vehicle will cost.

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