The last time the Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory bought a ladder truck, it was close to $900,000.
Eighteen years later, they’re looking to spend twice that - $1,812,636 - for a new ladder truck.
Friday, Fire Chief Brian Mayo presented the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety with an agreement to start the process to purchase a new Smeal/Spartan 100-foot rear-mount aerial platform ladder truck. It will replace the 2005 Pierce Aerial Platform ladder truck.
“This is co-op purchasing through Sourcewell, so the city is familiar with this program. This starts the ball rolling,” he said, noting that the build time is 480 calendar days so the truck won’t be completed until about August 2025.
Mayor Joe Thallemer asked Mayo when the last ladder truck was purchased. Mayo said the truck eventually being replaced is 19 years old this year. He said 15 years is good frontline life for an Aerial and Warsaw has gotten 20 out of theirs, and it’ll probably be held in reserve once the new truck arrives.
“It’s been well taken care of, but it’s really time to get a new one out there,” Mayo said.
Thallemer said he still remembers when they purchased the old ladder truck for over $800,000.
“We voted for it. I couldn’t believe some vehicle cost almost $900,000,” Board member George Clemens said.
Mayo said if they go past the 30-60-day lock-in window of ordering a truck, the price will go up. “I can guarantee it, just because every day vehicle costs are going through the roof,” he said.
The board approved the agreement for the purchase.
The board also opened the sole bid for the Gateway Grove subdivision alley improvements.
The bid came from G & G Hauling & Excavating, which is co-owned by County Commissioner Cary Groninger, who is also one of the partners of the subdivision.
The base bid was for $158,720.01, with the alternate bid totaling $110,800.69.
After reviewing the bid during the board meeting, city engineer Aaron Ott said G & G’s bid was “fully responsive to the bid requirements” and the city has worked with them many times so the city knows G & G is a responsible contractor. He recommended the board award the base bid and alternate bid to G & G.
Asked by Thallemer to briefly describe the project, Ott said, “We’re rebidding this. We had a project to improve some of the roadways and alley over adjacent to where some of the development is taking place by Miami Street and off Center Street and Union. Really, as that area is going to be building out and more residents are coming in, that was an area that needed to be improved. We had an alley that actually encroached - it needed realigned, it was on private property that wasn’t fitting the neighborhood.”
Ott said they will reconstruct the alleyway, with the base bid, and the alternate bid was for improvements to Miami Street, including a sidewalk on the east side from Center Street up to the Downtown YMCA.
“It’s an area that hasn’t had a lot of improvements done for many, many years and we did need to go with reconstruction and that’s why it cost a little more than mill and resurface project,” Ott said.
Thallemer said it was a “good example of private development dollars being put into that area and projects that are the result of that improving the surrounding and impacting the community. I’m certainly supportive of this.”
Councilwoman and board member Diane Quance asked if the sidewalks would be brought up to ADA accessibility. Ott said anything the city does that is public right-of-way project has to be brought up to ADA accessibility. The sidewalk currently isn’t ADA compliant, but that’s part of the improvements, Ott said.
The board approved awarding the bids to G & G.