Town staff comes up with ‘responsible’ fire truck funding option

Town Council on Monday agreed to put proceeds from the eventual sale of the 47 Avenue fire hall toward a new aerial ladder truck.

Sylvan Lake Town Council on Monday agreed to put proceeds from the eventual sale of the 47 Avenue fire hall toward a new aerial ladder truck for the Sylvan Lake Fire Department.

Town staff on Monday proposed a $1.7 million budget for the truck. That’s approximately $400,000 more than initial estimates presented to council earlier this year — a difference due mainly to the low Canadian dollar.

Of the fire hall’s current $699,000 listing price, $330,300 is being earmarked toward the construction of a new fire hall in Beacon Hill, leaving well over half of the anticipated proceeds to be put toward the truck’s purchase.

Earlier this year, $1.3 million was budgeted for the truck. However, Town staff were subsequently told by United States-based suppliers that the truck could cost up to US$1.25 million, or around C$1.63 million based on current exchange rates.

Using proceeds from the sale of the fire hall would prevent the need for further borrowing toward the project, prompting Mayor Sean McIntyre to thank Town staff for coming up with the “responsible” alternative.

“If the fire hall sells, we’ve got an option here to decrease our borrowing, which I think we can all get behind,” he said.

The exact cost of the truck won’t be known until November, once truck and chassis configurations have been finalized.

The truck is expected to arrive in spring 2017, following the completion of the new fire hall, which is currently under construction in Beacon Hill, and an assembly period of 12 to 16 months.

The new fire hall is slated for completion in spring 2016.