Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 18:00
Officials say long delay in delivery could have voided sale of old vehicle
When the Fredonia Fire Department ordered a new ambulance last summer, it was with the expectation that the vehicle would be delivered in March of 2015.
When the Village Board met on May 21, Fire Chief Brian Schommer told trustees the department was still awaiting delivery.
The village issued a check for $192,000 last August to Foster Coach Sales of Sterling, Ill., for the 2015 Ford F450 4X4 Horton chassis.
After repeated contacts with the vendor, department officials were told of multiple delays and were given a tentative delivery date of June 15.
“They really had no excuses,” Schommer said.
Beyond awaiting the new equipment, the repeated delays meant the department had to keep changing appointments with the communications vendor who was hired to replace radio equipment.
The bumbled transaction also spurred Assistant Fire Chief Brian Weyker to send a sharply worded letter to the dealer.
Even assuming the latest deadline is met, Weyker said department members are disappointed with the way the sale was handled.
“We will be at 287 days from the original date of the order. That is 77 days longer — 35% longer — that originally expected. This is unacceptable,” he wrote.
“I believe that simple things like delivery dates should be held to.”
Weyker noted that since the ambulance order was made, the department had to make thousands of dollars of repairs to its existing ambulance to keep it running.
He said the department also missed out on the revenue that would have been generated by lost transport calls because the current ambulance was being serviced.
Fire department officials were concerned that an offer to purchase the current vehicle by a private ambulance service, Spirit of Marshfield, for $20,000 might be cancelled because of the continued delays.
That concern was eased when the dealer said it would provide a loaner ambulance at no expense until the new vehicle is delivered.