RUSSELL –– Township trustees are looking to sell their 1997 tanker fire truck through GovDeals as they look to purchase a new truck at the cost of about $661,000.

Fire Chief John Frazier informed the board in December that Finley Fire Equipment Co. of Twinsburg offered a trade-in value of about $13,000 for the old truck to be used toward the department’s purchase of a new 2020 Pierce Manufacturing pumper.

Fiscal Officer Karen Walder, however, explained that the trade-in could not happen until the new pumper arrived on township property per state law.

Trustee Chairman Jim Mueller suggested taking the trade-in out of the contract earlier this month so the township could get rid of the idled truck right away. Currently, the truck is out of service and housed in the township’s old fire station.

He said part of his concern with accepting the trade-in was if there is a problem with the contract when sending it for American Planning Association approval, the trustees would have to start the entire process over, which would take too much time and push back ordering the new truck.

An additional benefit to selling the truck as surplus instead of trading it is that this allows the township to get rid of the truck sooner to free up space in the station, he added.

During the board’s regular meeting on Jan. 15, GovDeals representative Sarah Schultz explained the government surplus auctioning website to trustees. After hearing from Ms. Schultz, Mr. Mueller suggested that someone from each township department should be a contact for the GovDeals account.

Ms. Schultz noted that in her experience with GovDeals, municipalities always get more money for their items than what they would normally receive for trade-ins.

In updating the board on the purchase of the new pumper during last week’s meeting, Chief Frazier said he received several financing options from local banks including PNC, Huntington and Chase, among others. He told the trustees that Huntington has the best financing rate and he has sent information for American Planning Association approval.

Upon approval, Mr. Mueller noted that the trustees can hold a special meeting to take any action needed so the township can order the truck as soon as possible.

Chief Frazier said it takes about a year for a new fire truck to be built upon ordering.

Sam Cottrill started reporting for the Times in February 2019 and covers Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville and Chagrin, Kenston, Solon and West Geauga schools. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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