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Willow Point ladder truck to get an upgrade

The city has awarded a contract for the repair of an old ladder truck that will run out of the No. 2 fire hall. The repair was delayed because of last years purchase of a new ladder truck.  - Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror file photo
The city has awarded a contract for the repair of an old ladder truck that will run out of the No. 2 fire hall. The repair was delayed because of last years purchase of a new ladder truck.
— image credit: Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror file photo

City council has signed off on upgrades to a 24-year-old ladder truck that will serve the Willow Point fire hall.

At its Monday meeting, council approved spending $238,846 on refurbishments to the fire department’s 1993 aerial apparatus.

The work will take the ladder truck out of service for 90 to 120 days. Upon its return, the truck will be stationed at the No. 2 Fire Hall.

The refurbishment involves electrical, ladder and warning light upgrades as well as service to the vehicle’s pump and repairs to body damage sustained on the truck’s upper hose bed area.

The refurbishment has been on council’s radar since 2014 when the project was put on hold in favour of purchasing a new ladder truck.

In the spring of 2014 the city learned that the cost to purchase the truck would be significantly more than council had budgeted due to a decline in the Canadian to U.S. dollar exchange rate.

As a consequence, money set aside to refurbish the 1993 ladder truck was instead used to purchase the fire truck (which arrived early last year) and the refurbishment was put off.

Council tried again last year, set aside $180,000 and then issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the refurbishment.

The RFP closed last August with two proposals received but both were over the estimated budget amount due to elevated U.S. exchange rates.

During 2017 budget planning in December, council allocated a further $60,000 from its fire reserve account in order to accommodate the project.

On Monday, the job was awarded to Rocky Mountain Phoenix, the lone bidder left standing after the second proponent withdrew its proposal.

Clinton Crook, the city’s senior buyer, said the refurbishment will ensure the ladder truck is “updated to comply with NFPA standards effective Jan. 1, 2016.”

It’s expected that the reserve ladder truck should be available for another 15 years following the refurbishment.

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