Harriman Treasurer Chris Ahler explains the finer points of the firetruck purchase to the city council.

The Harriman City Council is planning to spend more than $700,000 on a firetruck. The purchase, which will replace an aging firetruck, was approved on Tuesday.

“Everything right now is a year or two on getting anything,” Mayor Wayne Best said. “There is a couple of trucks that they have, the same as we ordered last time. The Pierce truck that we have now, they use at Daytona for the races. They use it one time and then they sell them. As soon as the summer race is over that truck will be available.”

The reason for pre-ordering the particular truck is to get ahead of demand and beat a one-to-two-year long wait time. The current truck at the Harriman Fire Department is costing the city more and more to maintain.

“We’re spending roughly $40,000 or $50,000 a year on the truck we have right now just to keep it repaired and keep it going,” Best said. “I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not one to spend this kind of money on a fire truck. We have some other things we’d want to do. But we’re at the point where a fire truck lasts about 15 years, and we at that life cycle with this truck.”

The city of Harriman won’t experience any immediate effects from the purchase.

“When we do the financing for this kind of arrangement, typically we won’t make the first payment on that debt service until the next fiscal year, in 2024,” Harriman Treasurer Chris Ahler said.

Councilman Lonnie Wright asked if the purchase requires a down payment. Ahler said that a letter of intent is all that’s needed for the moment to secure a truck.

“We just sign a letter of intent to purchase, and then the next step will be to speak with the gentlemen we work with at Cumberland Securities, Scott, and we’ll do a note through him,” Ahler said. “We’ve already talked to him about this and there’s a possibility we can roll this into some other purchases as well that will have a longer life cycle like this vehicle does.”

The accepted cost of the firetruck is a low bid from Pierce Demo at $726,455, with the rejected bids at $900,000, $898,746, and $798,446.

Other items discussed at the council meeting included: Approving and accepting the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds of H.R. 1319 American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (CSLRF) and preparing an annual budget for the expenditure of the funds; providing up to $100,000 of matching funds for State of Tennessee American Rescue Plan Act Fiscal Recovery Funds for Water and Wastewater Projects on behalf of the Harriman Utility Board; providing up to $250,000 of Matching funds for a Sewer Extension Project along Pine Ridge Road, North of Interstate 40; appointing Sonya Thomas and Tracy Northern to the Harriman Housing Authority Board; designating the Events Center room at Harriman Municipal Plaza as “Frederick W. Gates Hall”; purchasing a Rigaku Progeny ResQ FLX for $25,150.00 from the Drug Enforcement Fund; possibly approving employee health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield; and approving JB Asphalt for grading and widening the entrance at Moses Lane and Roane State Highway for $7500,00.

The approval of a low bid for archaeological survey at Riverfront Park was delayed to the next meeting.