Port to drop $975K on fire truck it won’t see until 2026

Ozaukee Press staff

The Port Washington Common Council last week agreed to buy a new pumper truck for the fire department, but it will be a long time before they see the $975,000 vehicle.

The truck, which will replace two engine trucks, won’t be delivered until 2026, officials said.

“I was surprised at how long it would take to get this vehicle,” Fire Chief Mark Mitchell told aldermen. “We used to order at the start of the year and get it at the end of the year.

“That’s the backlog caused by the pandemic.”

Ald. Dan Benning noted that it’s unusual for the city to order a vehicle without having the funding in hand, but noted that the city won’t be paying for it until 2026, when it will be in the city’s capital budget.

“We’re not writing a check today,” he said.

The council’s action ratified a Police and Fire Commission decision to order the truck on Feb. 13. Officials noted that while the council typically approves a purchase before the order is placed, waiting would have increased the cost significantly.

Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton, which is building the truck, told the city the cost would increase by $28,328 if the vehicle was ordered after March 1, and the vendor, Cummins Diesel, was also expected to up the price in 2026 because the vehicle would require a new motor to be introduced that year to meet new emission standards, officials said.

That new engine, Mitchell said, could increase the cost by $80,000 to $100,000.

The new truck will be designated an attack engine, a truck that is the first to respond to fire, technical rescue situations, vehicle accidents and other hazardous situations

The department’s current attack engine will then become a supply engine, which has the same capabilities as an attack vehicle but is used primarily to supply water from a hydrant to the attack vehicle at the scene. This, officials said, will reduce wear and tear on the machine and extend its life.

The new truck will replace two engine trucks, one purchased in 1992 and the other in 1999.

The 1992 truck was sold earlier this year for $8,000 and now serves a department outside Mexico City.

The 1999 truck serves as the department’s supply engine and will do so until the new vehicle arrives. Then, it will be sold and proceeds used to offset the cost of the new truck.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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