Alabaster approves funding for new fire truck

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Fire Department will be able to place an order for a new heavy-duty pumper truck to be delivered later this year, after the City Council approved the loan for the purchase during a Jan. 8 meeting.

City Council members voted unanimously during the meeting to approve a $483,521 loan from Central State Bank with a 1.95 percent interest rate to be paid off in no more than 36 months. The loan does not have a prepayment penalty, meaning the city has the option to pay the loan off before the 36-month term.

The amount came in lower than the city originally anticipated. In late November, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the three-year lease-purchase of a new Sutphen Heavy Duty Custom Pumper Truck for the AFD at a cost not to exceed $496,025 “plus any associated costs for leasing the equipment.”

The lease payments are already included in the 2018 fiscal year budget, council members said previously, and the Fire Department will own the truck after the $483,521 amount is paid off.

Alabaster Fire Chief Jim Golden said the new truck will replace aging AFD equipment and likely will be delivered by mid-summer of 2018 after it is built to the AFD’s specifications.

“This is the equipment we feel will service the department and the community the best,” Golden told council members previously.

The truck and the equipment was bid on the Houston-Galveston Area Council bid list, of which the city of Alabaster is a member.

The loan approval originally was on the council’s Dec. 28, 2017, meeting agenda, but council members voted to table the matter until the Jan. 8 meeting to obtain more information on submitting payment to the Sutphen company.