Wheatland County council has approved the contribution of 60 per cent of the value of a new Rockyford Rescue Fire unit.

Additionally, council has also authorized proceeds from the trade-in or sale of the current 2005 rescue unit to be divided evenly between the county and the Rockyford Rural Fire Association.

The county’s contribution to the new unit will cap out to a maximum of $526,000, or the 60 per cent commitment. 

During the Feb. 1 regular council meeting, the Rockyford Rural Fire Association (RRFA) requested the replacement of their 2005 Fire Rescue unit. 

Their presentation indicated the unit has required significant recent repairs, prompting the RRFA to complete a needs assessment. This led to the determination it would be more cost effective to replace the machine instead of attempting to continue extending its service.

“There is no National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard that says we have to replace it after 20 years, that is just our procedure,” said Michael Bourgon, manager of emergency and fire services. “We look at 20 year replacement plans, we look at in and out replacement in fire services at the 20 year mark.”

The estimated cost of the new fire rescue unit is roughly $877,132.20. To confirm this cost, a 10 per cent deposit will be required to be paid to Rocky Mountain Phoenix prior to Feb. 22. The county’s 60 per cent commitment to the new machine is outlined in the Fire Association Policy 12.0. 

Bourgon added the cost of the machine has increased by roughly $30,000 over a timeline of approximately six weeks.

Delivery of the new fire rescue unit is not anticipated until 2026, at which point the current machine will be either sold or traded-in. Outside of the deposit, the remaining costs required to replace the machine will be paid in 2026 upon its delivery.

The equipment is owned by the RRFA, and the request makes no impact on the county’s capital budget. The fire association funding policy already accounts for the service costs which will be required for the replacement of the machine.

At the time of purchase of the current 2005 machine, it was financed in a 50-50 agreement between the RRFA and Wheatland County, therefore it will be reimbursed by the same margin.

At the request of Coun. Shannon Laprise, Bourgon estimated the trade in value of the 2005 machine in two years will likely be in the realm of $50,000, though its value may fluctuate prior to its trade. 

Council voted unanimously to approve the county’s contribution to the new machine, as well as the agreement regarding the sale or trade in of the current fire rescue unit.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 07, 2024 at 14:10

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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