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Financial issues may hose new firetruck
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Financial concerns may have hosed down McMinnville Fire Department’s chances of getting a new firetruck.

McMinnville officials are holding off on agreeing to purchase a new firetruck until more numbers can be crunched.

The city’s Safety Committee received a request from Fire Chief Kendell Mayfield to purchase a truck in the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year which begins June 1.

“I’ve come here tonight, again, begging to see if we have enough money to get another firetruck this coming year,” said Mayfield. “I understand money is going to be tight. All I need is a yes or no on this.”

Creating the possibility for a lack of money is a $9.2 million renovation of the Civic Center and proposed construction of a new McMinnville Police Department currently estimated at $3 million.

Requested was a rescue pumper which differs from the department’s current pumper truck in that it has greater storage space and custom compartment sizes to transport rescue equipment. 

Cost estimate is between $450,000 and $650,000.

“The truck I want to replace is 27 years old,” said Mayfield. “It’s beginning to give us some problems. ISO recommends us replacing them every 20 years. It’s seven years overdue.”

Insurance Service Office (IS0) offers departments a rating from 1 to 10, with 1 representing exemplary public protection and 10, which is the worst rating, representing no fire protection. ISO ratings are set using different factors, including available equipment, water supply, number of firefighters on staff, training of personnel, communication abilities and operators at the 911 Center.

The city has an ISO of 3. 

Aldermen Everett Brock, Safety Committee member and chair of the city’s Finance Committee, asked for more time to crunch numbers for fiscal year 2019-20.

“From my standpoint, from the Finance Committee, I suggest we look at budgets before we decide what we are going to do here,” said Brock. “With everything else that we have going, I just don’t know what we’ll have. I plan on reviewing all the budgets before we have committee meetings about those budgets. I’ll go through those doing rough calculations and see where we stand.” 

Committee members tabled the discussion.