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Public works director retires after 30 years as city worker

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It will take about eight months before residents notice a shiny, new fire truck traveling the roads and attending to emergencies.

On Monday, the Delaware City Council took the first steps to acquiring that truck by approving an advancement of cash from the general fund and the appropriation to fund the purchase of the $1.1-million fire truck and about $200,000 worth of equipment to replace the aging 30-year-old truck in the fleet.

“This is certainly a purchase the fire department has been looking forward to for a few years,” City Mayor Gary Milner said.

The current ladder truck is prone to hydraulic failures, which keeps the ladder from raising, and goes in and out of service regularly. Purchasing a new truck before now wasn’t possible with a tight city budget until a fire and emergency medical services levy was passed by voters in November.

The approved legislation advances $1.1 million from the general fund to pay up front for the truck. If the city purchases the truck upon ordering it, it can receive a $54,000 discount, City Finance Director Dean Stelzer explained.

Stelzer will enter into a capital lease purchase arrangement with either Fifth Third Bank or Huntington National Bank and finance the truck over eight years, he said. At the end of the lease, the city will own the vehicle.

The new truck, a Pierce 100-foot aerial platform truck with a 2011 velocity chassis — is being purchased by a Wisconsin company Pierce Manufacturing that specializes in fire apparatus construction, City Fire Chief John Donahue told council Monday. It will take about eight months for the vehicle to be constructed and delivered, which should be around the first of the year.

City Councilman Andrew Brush asked about the existing equipment on the current truck and whether it would be used on the new truck.

Donahue said that any usable equipment will be put onto the new truck, but most of it was purchased at the same time as the truck 30 years ago.

The city also recently purchased land along West Central Avenue to make way for a $1.5-million fire substation, part of the levy campaign promises. The 1.58-acre property, purchased for $225,000, is located on the northwest corner of West Central Avenue and Lexington Boulevard in Delaware Township.

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