Chelsea approves purchase of new fire trucks, awards Nick Grant funds

Published 2:40 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021


CHELSEA – City officials recently approved the purchase of three new fire trucks for Chelsea Fire and Rescue.

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Chelsea City Council voted in favor of authorizing the mayor to execute financial agreements necessary for the purchase of the fire trucks, which are included in the city’s 2021-2022 budget.

The pumpers are estimated to total about $1,754,600.

“They are very much needed,” Chelsea Fire Chief Joe Lee said. “We formed a committee, and we discussed long and hard how to be good stewards of the money that you and the citizens of this city allow us to spend. We spent a lot of time going over what we need, what was necessary and that there would be no wasted money, to provide the best emergency service that we can to this city.”

The purchase of the new E-One fire engines will allow the fire department to replace all current front-line engines, have a surplus of reserve apparatuses for maintenance issues and prepare to expand at any point in the future.

“These apparatuses were specifically designed for our city with E-31 being extra special,” read a post on Chelsea Fire and Rescue’s Facebook page. “E-31 serves citywide as a specialized company with the latest in extrication equipment, struts for stabilization, airbags for lifting (and) rope for high-angle and low-angle rescues.”

The fire department’s nearly $4.2 million budget also includes two pickup trucks to serve as auxiliary units, allowing the department to replace its battalion vehicle.

In addition, a new rescue unit was approved using money from the American Rescue Plan, legislation aimed at providing COVID-19 relief to Americans. The new rescue unit will allow both rescues at stations 31 and 33 to have the most modern, up-to-date rescue units available.

“I want you to rest assured that we did our due diligence,” Lee said to the council. “We are proud and thankful that y’all allowed us to spend this money.”

In other business, the council approved another wave of Nick Grant funds for local schools.

The following is a list of Nick Grant fund amounts each school is receiving:

  • Chelsea Middle School – $20,363
  • Chelsea High School – $13,837
  • Chelsea Park Elementary School – $11,976.80
  • Forest Oaks Elementary School – $21,129.69
  • Mt Laurel Elementary School – $9,431.67

The council also:

  • Approved for Ward Sellers to act on behalf of the city for revenue and tax matters.
  • Approved a resolution to seek out the Alabama Attorney General’s opinion as to when the acceptance of the 2020 Census becomes official, considering Chelsea surpassed 14,000 in population and could consider whether to be a mayor-led council or a City Council-led council moving forward.
  • Approved annexation requests from Janice Watkins for property located on Country Manor Drive in Sterrett, and Nicholas and Ashlon New for property located on Highway 336 in Chelsea.