The Derry Town Council has authorized the purchase of a Fire Department vehicle on hold since 2015.
At its April 19 meeting, the Council voted unanimously to authorize the appropriation of $50,000 from the department’s Capital Reserve Fund for the purchase of an SUV for use in various department functions.
During the budget talks for FY 2016, the then-Council ordered a “hold” placed on both the purchase of the SUV and purchase of an ambulance.
The Ford E-350 ambulance was a 2006 model, which has an estimated 8-year life cycle and at the time of the original request, was two years over that life cycle’s end. The replacement has been in the Capital Improvement Plan for several years and the vehicle was originally scheduled to be replaced in FY 14.
In January Fire Chief Michael Gagnon came before the Council to request replacement of the ambulance from funds already in the Fire Department Capital Reserve Fund. His first request was not on the agenda, and the Council asked him to come back. At the Jan. 19 Town Council meeting, Councilors voted 5-2 to approve appropriating $250,000 for the ambulance purchase.
In the April meeting Gagnon wrote in a memo, “The Fire Department adheres to an extended lifespan replacement schedule for all its vehicles.” While the current vehicle has “nominally” exceeded its lifespan, purchase would allow the department to keep to its replacement schedule, according to Gagnon.
An estimated $50,000 will include the vehicle and radio, lighting and emergency warning devices, he said. The vehicle has an estimated life span of 15 years.
Gagnon said the vehicle will be used for fire safety inspections, public education appearances and emergency response, among other things.
The Council voted 7-0 to approve the appropriation.
In other business at the April 19 meeting:
• The Council approved the acceptance of grant funds to facilitate the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection.
The Council voted unanimously to accept the grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), in order to hold the Hazardous Waste Collection in conjunction with Londonderry.
The DES grant is for $6,012 and will be matched by the town for a total of $15,000.
The action by the Council authorizes Acting Town Administrator Stephen Daly to sign the grant agreement.