Mehlville Fire Protection District board OKs purchase of new pumper for $353,288

By KAREN CALLANAN

Staff Reporter

The purchase of a new pumper through a “tag-on” order with the city of Maplewood for a total cost of $353,288 was approved last week by the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

Andy Klein of Schuhmacher Fire Equip-ment said that the price given to Mehlville included a savings of about 6 percent be-cause prices have increased since the Ma-plewood bid was submitted and would in-crease again Jan. 3, which would not apply to the district. The only requirement was that the Mehlville order had to be to the plant by Dec. 24 to receive the discounts, Klein said. The same truck would cost $41,000 more by Jan. 3, he added.

The district also may see an additional savings of roughly $6,000 by pre-paying for the pumper’s chassis, Klein said.

That will be determined by the amount of interest the district’s money is making in the bank, compared to the savings that could be obtained.

Otherwise, the payment need not be made until the truck is delivered in August.

The MFPD Apparatus Committee met to compare the Maplewood fire truck to the type of truck that Mehlville would have specified, Pvt. Dennis Maag told the Board of Directors, and changed the truck into a “Mehlville” pumper.

A memo from the Apparatus Committee to the board and Chief Ray Haddock ex-plained that in 2002 the committee began preparing specifications for this truck, which would be assigned to Engine Company 1730 at engine house No. 3.

“At the time, administration was considering modifying the Apparatus Replacement Plan to reflect a frontline service life of apparatus from the current 14-year cycle to a 12-year cycle,” the memo stated. “Sometime thereafter, the district began experiencing financial difficulties and the committee tabled work on the project. With the recent approval of the tax issue, the Apparatus Committee reconvened on Dec. 1, 2004. At the time, we were told of administration’s desire to have a new pumper purchased and delivered by the end of 2005. This would keep the Apparatus Re-placement Plan on track as recommended by the FACTS Committee.”

Haddock said the presentation to the FACTS Committee anticipated a truck costing roughly $388,000, so this purchase is “well where we need to be.”

Assistant Chief John Schicke explained the history of the Mehlville Fire Protection District’s tag-ons with other districts: In 1985 Mehlville tagged on to the city of Los Angeles for a pumper; in 1988 the district tagged on to a city of St. Louis purchase; in 1997 tagged on to the U.S. Air Force for a heavy rescue truck; in 2000 tagged on to Central County for the 100-foot-platform truck; and in 2001 tagged on to a Webster Groves purchase.

“In every instance, I believe we’ve saved money doing that as a tag on,” Schicke said.