NORTH KINGSTOWN – At Monday’s North Kingstown Town Council meeting, members unanimously approved the purchase of a new rescue vehicle for the NK Fire Department.
The bid was awarded to the lowest evaluated/responsive bidder, Specialty Vehicles, Inc., from North Attleboro, Mass., for a 2009 demo Ford E-450, with 7,140 miles, for a total cost of $148,598. Part of the cost for this award has been accepted and appropriated from a grant from the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Office of Air Resources, in the amount of $37,149.50. The remaining balance, $111,448.50 will be appropriated and authorized from the town’s Undesignated Fund Balance.
“This vehicle has very low mileage on it," NK Town Manager Michael Embury said. "We have one in the shop now with over 100,000 miles and on the average there’s usually one in the shop at least once a week. This is something that is certainly needed. Now we can use the one current-ly in the shop as a backup and not have to rely on borrowing one from a surrounding town.”
It’s taken a year for this process to be complete, a process which included getting approval for the grant and going out to bid.
In total, 12 vehicles by four different vendors were submitted for bid proposals.
The intent of the grant is to eliminate dated vehicles with diesel engines which produce high levels of pollution, similar to the cash for clunkers program, and replace them with cleaner-burning low emissions models. Many of the rescue vehicles in the town’s fleet date back to 1999, with some having modular components over 11 years old, which have been the source of in-creased maintenance costs and out of service time. Mileage on these vehicles range from 90,000 to 128,000.
According to a memo to the Town Council from newly-appointed Fire Chief Fenwick Gardin-er, there have been instances when three out of the four trucks were out of service for repair at the same time and a loaner vehicle from a neighboring town had to be appropriated.
“This investment will not only be offset by the grant, but long-term we’ll realize savings with increased fuel efficiency and reduction in maintenance repair cots,” Gardiner said in his letter.