The Port Alberni Fire Department is located on 10th Avenue. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Port Alberni fire engine replacement goes over budget

New truck will cost $200K more than first thought: Chief Owens

The City of Port Alberni will be going more than $200,000 over budget to purchase a replacement fire engine for the Port Alberni Fire Department.

The city put out a request for proposals for the replacement of Fire Engine 1 earlier this year and received four responses. “All four of them were a fair amount more than what we had previously budgeted for in the five-year financial plan,” said Fire Chief Mike Owens during a meeting of city council on Monday, Aug. 10.

READ MORE: Port Alberni Fire Department needs new equipment

The winning bid was Fort Garry Fire Trucks Ltd., at a cost of $890,645.

“We engaged with Fort Garry Fire Trucks…and aimed to try to reduce costs as much as we could,” said Owens. “Even with that said, it is $215,347.15 more than what was budgeted.”

The extra funding will come out of the city’s equipment replacement reserve fund (ERRF), with plans to repay it over the next five years.

Owens said some of the unexpected increase could be attributed to the U.S.-Canadian dollar exchange rate and some of the new U.S. tariffs. Although Fort Garry Fire Trucks Ltd. is a Canadian company, around 70 percent of the truck is built in the United States.

The new truck will have a battery system that kicks on when the truck is idling, reducing fuel consumption and lowering emissions. The vehicle will also include airbags, additional rollover protection, backup cameras and increased storage. The current engine is 30 years old and nearing the end of its useful life.

Council expressed disappointment about the “sticker shock” of the new engine, but ultimately approved the purchase.

“I am not willing to compromise the safety of our firefighters or our public because we’re trying to pinch pennies on a piece of apparatus,” said Councillor Ron Paulson.

“This is a large overage to what our budget was,” added Mayor Sharie Minions. “Although I struggle very much with this purchase, I will support it because I have confidence that our fire department and Chief Owens have done their due diligence.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

budgetfirefightersPort Alberni

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

ALBERNI GOLF: Van Lent gets hole in one

Next Sunday, Oct. 4 will be the windup for Sunday morning golf for this crazy year of 2020

EDITORIAL: Election forces change, uncertainty for Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding

The Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding is heading into a snap election at a time when we least need it.

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs prepare for unusual 2020-21 season

Questions remain about funding, fans in seats at the Alberni Valley Multiplex

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read