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Williamsville spending up to $1.35 million on 3 new fire trucks

Williamsville is spending up to $1.35 million to replace three fire trucks, although the Fire Department's fleet of vehicles is actually being downsized.

Two 2003 Ferrara engines will be replaced and the department's heavy-duty rescue truck will be downsized to a medium-size rescue with a F-650 chassis. The purchase  is through department's capital replacement plan.

Mayor Brian J. Kulpa thanked the department for finding a way to save money by downsizing to a smaller rescue truck, which will still carry the same equipment such as the jaws of life.

"I think the Village Board was going to choke on a three-vehicle replacement issue if they didn't think seriously about downsizing the fleet, or right-sizing the fleet," he said. "Certainly, taking the heavy rescue down to a F-650 makes the future maintenance and replacement costs a lot more manageable."

The village will use $175,000 from its capital fire truck reserve and borrow up to $1,175,000 to purchase the new trucks. That cost is expected to be offset by $200,000 from trading in the older vehicles. Each engine is expected to cost about $450,000, with the rescue accounting for the rest.

"We realize it's a lot of money, but it's practical," said Trustee Basil J. Piazza. "The heavy rescue vehicle is 20 years old now, so it's already about 5 years beyond its life cycle."

Chief Michael A. Measer told the Village Board the current engines are on a 15-year replacement cycle, but the new engines will last 20 years due to the stainless steel bodies that were selected. A smaller rescue truck has advantages, he said, including lower maintenance costs and easier driver training.

The department expects to take delivery of the new vehicles sometime in 2018, Measer said. The department also has a 2011 aerial ladder truck among the larger apparatus in its fleet.

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