At a City Council meeting Tuesday, the council approved change orders of up to $6,000 for the nearly half-million dollar fire truck that is on order. Fire Chief Matt Missildine explained at an earlier council work session that some items, such as additional steps and side anchor points, must be added to the truck for safety.
“We had $5,928 in total additions and $1,254 in deletions, so the net change, on what we have numbers for right now, is $4,674 over and above the cost of the truck,” Missildine said. “There are two things we are waiting on the dollar amounts on, and I think we’re going to change to the good on those.”
The total cost of the truck, financed through a 12-year general obligation warrant, is around $489,000. The city received a $13,000 discount for prepaying for the truck, which is expected to be in the fleet for 30 years.
Additionally, the council approved the purchase of six sets of turnout gear for firemen, to be paid for in part by leftover grant money from 2009. About $6,300 is left from the $110,000 federal grant that was designated for the purchase of 41 sets of turnout gear, or protective clothing, Missildine said.
When the grant was awarded, the department purchased 35 sets of gear at a higher price than budgeted, meaning it must buy the remaining six sets, which will total about $14,000, to access any of the leftover money.
“There is option to return federal money,” Missildine told the council. “My only hesitation is we’re going to need to buy some turnout gear in the next year or so, and we’ll probably need three or four sets, so we would be in the $6,000 or $7,000 range anyway. My thinking is we’ve got a chance to spend another couple thousand and get $14,000 worth of stuff.”
Missildine said he can find the additional funding in his current budget, and the council supported that option.
The police department is also receiving new equipment. The council approved a $5,000 budget amendment to allow for the purchase of roughly 40 new Generation 4 Glock pistols, as well as the corresponding ammunition, for police employees. The sidearms will replace the .40-caliber Generation 3 Glock 22s currently in use.
Police Chief Chris Carden explained to the council Monday that the department will trade its current pistols in to Gulf States Distributors out of Montgomery for $150 credit each toward a new gun. Officers will have the option to purchase their Gen 3 Glock back from Gulf States at a reduced rate, he said.
“We’re not selling firearms to the public, to employees,” Carden said. “We’re selling them to Gulf States. They, in turn, will sell them back, if employees want to buy them.”
The pistols will cost about $3,700, Carden said, and the remaining funds will purchase ammunition.
Also, Carden recently proposed the purchase of eight rifles to be kept in patrol cars as an added tool if a situation arises where a sidearm is not effective. That purchase would total roughly $6,200. He said the department would benefit from the rifles; however, it is not necessary if the budget does not allow.
“Patrol rifles are a good tool to have in the toolbox, and I think we would benefit from them greatly,” Carden said. “We have the staff to do the training. Sylacauga is a progressive police department, and if my armorer (Sgt. Matt Emlich) tells me we need them, and he substantiates that claim, I’m on board with that. At the same time, I understand what money is, and we can wait if we need to wait.”
Lastly, the council approved $1,200 to send new police officer Terry Gallahair to police academy in Jacksonville on Sept. 3 through Nov. 21. Upon successful graduation, the expense will be reimbursed to the city.
“You have to pay for it first, but you get the money back,” Carden said. “We’ve never had anybody not graduate. We have had them, years ago, sent home because they couldn’t pass the physical fitness part, but now we do that prior to even getting them hired. (Gallahair) is working out real well, and I think he’s going to do us a good job.”
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