Planning for Purchase of Fire Trucks

In addition to presenting a long-range strategic plan for capital investments to Laurens County Council this week, County Administrator Jon Caime also presented the first part of a plan he wants to see implemented regarding the county’s fire service. Caime advised council, “We currently have a bond in place for fire trucks that was put in place in 2010 for $3,200,000, that is up for renewal in 2020.” Jon Caime said administration has identified the capital need for purchasing fire trucks is now $5,500,000, but noted that increasing the original $3.2 million bond to handle this need would require a tax increase.

Laurens County Fire Service Director Greg Lindley told council, “We are looking at the cost of equipment and vehicles we need. Government regulations on new vehicles may prevent us from saving money when we can, we see a lot of good buys for used fire trucks, we found one for Ekom for $45,000 and is much newer than one they had, this would be an opportunity if council would let us buy used and it would cut down what we would have to spend in 2020.”  He added, “Late model trucks cost more to repair than older ones.” Lindley explained that the goal is to get 30 years of life out of our fire engines.

Council Chair Joe Wood commented on the regulations Lindley noted. Councilman Wood said, “In the last 15 years the regulations that have been put on fire trucks is unreal. You are better off with an older truck if you have problems with it.’

Director Lindley also told council that he is still working on grants to help with the purchase of needed fire-fighting equipment.