| Sep 07, 2006

Feature Article - September 7, 2006

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Feature Article - September 7, 2006

South Frontenac to purchase two fire trucks

by Jeff Green

It all seemed so simple when South Frontenac Council approved the purchase of a new fire truck in their 2006 budget.

But Fire Chief Rick Cheseborough soon found out that fire truck manufacturers are no longer accepting payment on delivery as a norm. They wanted 20% down on order, and they don’t commit to delivering a vehicle for over a year after receiving the order for a truck.

Matters became more complicated in July when one of the Storrington trucks got into an accident and needed replacing. Fortunately the township’s insurance will cover the cost, less a $5,000 deductible.

Cheseborough outlined for council that he has now received three quotes on the two trucks, but only one of them, Pierce Inc., is willing to deliver a vehicle with no down payment, and also to provide a loaner pumper at no charge until the new one is delivered so the Storrington department will not be short one vehicle.


The cost for all of this is about $600,000 for the two vehicles, of which $273,885 will come from the insurance company. The rest will be paid by the township. Council set aside a little under $200,000 in their 2006 budget, and the rest will have to come out of the 2007 budget.

Council approved the purchases.

Staff seeks help in purchasing insurance Township Chief Administrative Officer Gord Burns made reference to fire trucks in asking that council approve a $6,000 contract to an insurance consultant to help the township negotiate their insurance policy for 2007.

After the accident, the township’s insurance company, Jardine, first said they were only required to pay about $2,000, the salvage value of the vehicle less a $5,000 deductible, rather than the replacement cost less a $5,000 deductible, which comes to almost $275,000.

Burns reported that the treasurer reviewed the policy, and appears to have been successful in convincing Jardine that the policy does, in fact, require them to pay the much higher amount.

“However, this pointed to a larger issue that insurance coverage is extremely important and extremely complex. None of the senior staff have the expertise to develop a request for proposal or review the market and proposals received to ensure we are receiving adequate and/or equivalent coverage,” he said in a report to council.

“It seems like a lot of money,” he said in defending the $6,000 expenditure, “but both Treasurer Bracken and myself are uncomfortable with negotiating a $250,000 contract when we don’t know enough about insurance policies. If we miss something, it will cost the township a lot more than $6,000.”

Not all of the councillors were convinced the $6,000 contract was necessary.

“How many insurance companies will likely respond to an RFP,” asked Councillor Peter Roos.

“Two”, replied Burns

“If there are only two companies that will bid on it, get a bid from each and let the consultant check them over,” Roos said.

“We want the consultant to prepare the RFP in the first place,” said Burns.

“If Deb Bracken is recommending this, and she’s pretty cheap, I mean she doesn’t spend our money easily, then I support it,” said Councillor Del Stowe.

The proposal was approved in an 8-1 vote, with Peter Roos casting the dissenting vote.

Formal approval for plastic pipes in Sydenham Council approved a motion allowing the use of plastic water pipe as an alternative material for the water hook-up to buildings in connecting to the Sydenham Water treatment plant.

Bag tag woes Councillor Bill Robinson pointed out that many people misunderstood the dates on the new bag tags, which are active from Sept.1, 2006 until August 31st, 2007, and thus brought into the dump or put out at the corner, garbage bags with outdated tags.

“The bags didn’t get picked up; then they did get picked up, the whole thing is a terrible mess,” he said, “what’s going to be done about this?”

Councillors traded stories about how disfunctional the system is and how many phone calls they have received, but no resolution was brought forward and the discussion ended.

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