Mark Taylor
The Olathe City Council approved the purchase of a $1.053 million ariel truck for the city’s fire department on Sept. 18.
The 100-foot apparatus replaces a 2007 model that has “major safety, repair and maintenance issues,” according to city staff.
The 2007 model was expected to have a 15-year life span.
According to a staff memo in the council’s packet, the “unit has been in service only 59 percent in the past three years and only available one day in 2012.
“…The articulating arm of the apparatus, which was the major reason for its purchase (for overhead water dispersion) has, on occasion, become stuck in mid-air, causing severe safety concerns with the firefighters caught on the apparatus.”
Also, when the unit is out of service, it places additional burden on the department’s other apparatus, which could shorten their life spans.
Council members were told the 2007 model is manufactured in Finland, and getting replacement parts from overseas is difficult.
A retrofit of the 2007 model would cost an estimated $700,000 and the unit would be out of service for eight to 12 months, according to staff.
The city will receive a $330,000 credit for trading in the 2007 model.
The trade-in credit, and a $27,596 pre-payment discount, will bring the price of the new aerial truck to $695,569.
The new aerial truck is expected to arrive between March and April next year.