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New Philadelphia Council mulls new rescue engine for fire department

| September 14, 2023

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Sept. 14, 2023) – Council members are considering whether to get a new rescue engine for the fire department and the financial obligations that would be required.

Fire Chief Jim Parrish has presented council with a proposal to order the truck now from Pierce Manufacturing, and the city won’t have to start paying until it arrives in about three years. The one it would replace will be 25 years old at that point. Parrish says the price tag is more than $1.4 million, but that will only go up if council doesn’t act soon.

“I’m not pushing you to do anything, I don’t want you to do something you’re uncomfortable with,” Parrish told council members.

Parrish said that price could exceed $2 million in the coming years.

“Don’t be shocked, don’t be surprised, because that’s the trend that we’re seeing,” said Parrish.

Auditor Beth Gundy said the fire department’s next contract to cover Goshen Township in two years would need to bring in significantly more revenue to pay for this rescue engine and the two other department trucks it’s already covering.

“Just so you’re all aware, it’s speculative, it’s not under contract yet, so you don’t know what you’re getting in three years,” Gundy said to council.

Council members Mitch Pace and Dan Lanzer indicated they want to order the truck now since the city can always back out of the deal before the truck actually arrives if the new Goshen Township contract comes up short.

Council failed to pass the resolution to order the truck on its first reading this week when Cheryl Ramos voted no after voicing concerns about future interest rates and other unknowns. Council could call a special meeting at the end of the month to pass the resolution on its third reading ahead of an October 1st ordering deadline.

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