Gary may lease trucks, fire equipment
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent October 28, 2012 9:32PM
Updated: November 30, 2012 6:19AM
GARY — The city’s Fire and General Services departments are poised to receive some badly needed new equipment if the Common Council votes to lease it.
The council will consider at its Tuesday night meeting an ordinance that will allow the city to lease $3.074 million in vehicles and other equipment. The Fire Department is asking for $2,329,409 and General Services proposes $605,542.
The lease would be spread out over eight years, to 2020.
For its $2 million, the Fire Department would purchase three 2012 pumper trucks at a cost of $1,103,709; two 2012 aerials at a cost of $1,050,000; and a 2013 truck with a utility body and an SUV for $70,280.
General Services is asking for two new dump/plow trucks at a cost of $385,966; a $162,000 roll-off truck; two hot boxes for more permanent pothole patching at $49,000; and two tractors for clearing vacant lots for $5,000.
It is also requesting 10 heavy-duty weed trimmers for $350, a riding mower for $2,186 and four large chain saws for $1,040.
The ordinance would have the city pay the lease back over eight years from three funds, Finance Committee chairwoman Mary Brown said. The bulk of the lease, or $1.7 million, would be paid from casino tax revenue escrow funds; two other funds, motor vehicle, and highway and roads, would contribute $175,000 each year over the lease’s life.
Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas, D-1st, said she would like to see at least $2 million a year spent on infrastructure and that the city needs to do a better job of collecting for ambulance services.
“We’ve been hiring more people but not collecting for EMS,” Krusas said.
The Fire Department last week accepted three ambulances donated by Calumet Township Trustee Mary Elgin on behalf of the township. Fire Chief Teresa Everett said the donation will allow other EMS equipment to be repaired without shorting the department.