Whitehorse city council voted in favour of amending the capital budget to allow for the purchase of a new fire truck at a cost of $330,000 plus GST at the March 11 regular council meeting.
The move opens the door for staff to directly order a new tanker truck to replace Whitehorse Fire Department Tanker unit 5511, which was totalled in a four-vehicle collision Jan. 22, instead of going through a lengthy tender process.
Tanker unit 5511 was written off by the city’s insurance company following the crash and a new truck is needed to maintain fire services, Richard Graham, operations manager for the city, had told council at the March 4 standing committees meeting.
A new fire truck is usually “produced specifically for a client” and delivered 12 months after it is ordered, Graham said, while a tender process usually takes between 18 and 24 months “from budget to approval,” meaning it would be about three years before the city could even have a new truck on the way up here if the process wasn’t waived.
The city is presently in negotiations with their insurance company, Graham said. It’s expected that payout will be around $60,000, given the age and repair of the vehicle at the time of the accident
The city looked into available stock and found two trucks which are already made and ready to be shipped, a Westvac M4 in Edmonton and a Fort Garry Crusader in Calgary. The Westvac M4 is the preferred vehicle, at a cost of $298,000 versus $311,000 for the Fort Garry Crusader.
The city currently has one Fort Garry Crusader tanker in use.
On top of those costs are modification costs — including adding front and rear facing cameras and fixing an issue which might lead to pipes freezing in our climate — at $32,000 and shipping and inspections costs at an additional $35,000, for the total $365,000.
That money is available in the reserve, said Valerie Bragha, director of corporate services for the city.
The discrepancy between the asked for amount and the actual cost — $35,000 — is for the $35,000 shipping and other associated costs which “may be provided by other” sources, Graham said.
Once ordered, a truck should arrive in 60 to 90 days, Graham said.
Presently, the city has rented a loaner tanker for $1 a day for nine months; it’s in the “city’s hands and has been added to our insurance,” Graham said, but is currently being inspected and having some maintenance work done. It’s expected that vehicle will be on the road sometime in the next two weeks. The rental can be cancelled at any time with five days notice.
Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@Yukon-news.com