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New fire truck gets go ahead

 

NATCHEZ — City officials instructed Interim Natchez Fire Chief Ventris Green to move forward with the purchase of a new, state-of-the-art aerial ladder truck during a special-called meeting Monday evening.

Green said the best bid for the truck came from Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Denham Springs, Louisiana.“With it being local, we can get any parts we need … from the manufacturer right here in Denham Springs,” Green said. “That makes a huge difference — and it’s a state-of-the-art truck.”

The $938,310 purchase comes with an MVPHD77 model fire truck with a built-in pumper, a five-year extended warranty and Jaws of Life extraction equipment included, Green said.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said the city has been approved for a $780,000 capital improvement loan, allowing the city to set aside a total of $1 million in the budget for the purchase.

Grennell said the Mississippi Rating Bureau would not award the city the same fire rating of 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, unless the city has a new truck by December.

A higher fire rating means higher insurance rates for Natchez residence, he said.

Preparation and delivery of the new truck will take 6 months from the day the purchase is approved, Green said.

However, Green said he contacted the bureau and will have it in writing that the city will not be penalized if the purchase is approved.

The old truck will be kept in service as of Monday, but the department may seek a trade-in value at a later date, Green said.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen unanimously approved:

  • The movement of $10,000 from the general fund to the public properties fund for docket expenses — which will be repaid in January when ad valorem taxes are received, Interim City Clerk James Johnston said.
  • Life insurance policies for city employees that were included in the budget.
  • To amend the Silas Simmons contract for the 2017 fiscal year audit to include the preparation of financial statements.
  • The purchase of a bench to the Community Alliance for $3,000 in honor of the Krouse Family, which will be taken out of the city’s community development fund.
  • A proclamation by Grennell that this week be named homecoming week for the City of Natchez.

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