Palm Coast will spend $6.2 million to purchase 69 heavy vehicles and equipment, including 3 fire trucks
In one of the largest such expenditures in the city’s history at any given time, the Palm Coast City Council on Tuesday gave approval to spend $6.2 million to purchase 69 vehicles and parts. heavy equipment for various services, including three fire trucks.
Equipment and vehicles include dump trucks, forklifts, alligator carts, mowers, golf carts, pick-up trucks, skid steer loaders, approximately 30 Ford pick-up trucks of the F-150, F-550 variety and F-750, for a total of $2 million and for the fire department, a brush attack truck worth $168,000 and two fire engines worth $629,000 each.
A small portion of the equipment will be paid for from the utility, solid waste, stormwater and building funds, which maintain separate accounts from the general fund and generate revenue through fees, so they do not do not affect property taxes. But the majority of the costs are borne by general fund dollars.
“We pay special attention to vehicles and equipment that have reached or exceeded their estimated useful life,” Public Works Coordinator Kevin Brinkley told council members. “This year, we inspected over 181 items that met these criteria. Following this inspection, all fleet vehicles and/or equipment that were determined to be in need of replacement have been included in the FY23 Fleet Replacement Schedule for the upcoming budget year. In addition to replacements, new fleet vehicles and equipment are also included in the FY23 fleet fund budget.” He recommended the replacement of 43 “assets” (the term applies either to vehicles or heavy equipment), four vehicles for the fire department and the purchase of 26 new net “assets”.
The original plan was to replace 46 assets and purchase 30 new ones. The administration reduced that number to 43 and 26, for a total of 69. The city uses different methods to purchase the vehicles and equipment, including relying on contracts from other government agencies to take advantage of higher prices. down.
Two new Mack dump trucks, replacing the older ones, will cost nearly $200,000 each. One will go to the rainwater service (which maintains your swales and ditches, among other things), the other will go to the utility service. A Gradall with a shovel attached to a long crane, also for the stormwater service, will cost nearly $500,000. Two Massey Ferguson tractors will cost nearly $100,000 each. The City acquires a new sewer cleaning truck for close to $600,000.
Most Ford pickup prices range between $28,000 and $63,000 each, with the F-550 and F-750 costing between $107,000 and $150,000 each. These trucks will go to code enforcement, dividing streets and roadways, storm water and utilities.
Fire trucks are standard frontline fire engines used to fight fires. Attack trucks are used in forest fires. The city typically purchases no more than one fire truck each year, relying on a reserve fund that accumulates dollars over time to pay for them. “This fills a gap in the fleet replacement fund due to market conditions for fire trucks,” new fire chief Kyle Berryhill told the council. “This market is so demanding that we are seeing a two-year gap between placing our order and receiving the device. Our fleet department has carried out an analysis of the equipment in question and the realization of this investment now prevents to invest more in devices that have reached a tipping point, from a reliability standpoint.”
The complete presentation of the fleet replacement element took only three or four minutes, without any details of purchases or why, in addition to replacements for older equipment, the city was buying new additional vehicles. None of the board members asked a single question about the upcoming program and spending, despite the presentation being part of the same budget plan that led the board to discuss whether to approve the tax rate. property next year and at what level.
Four council members, led by the mayor, have agreed to keep next year’s tax rate the same as this year’s, which will amount to a 15% tax increase. They justified the approach by citing the need to maintain residents’ quality of life and meet city service demands. Only one council member objected. None focused on the fleet replacement program, which alone would represent a significant portion of these demands on the budget.
“Our staff and management have done a terrific job of ensuring that we’re running a very tight ship here,” Council Member Nick Klufas said, usually speaking about the budget towards the end of the presentations. “We have been for years and it’s amazing that we continue to get this level of service with the budget we have.”
Not everything is said yet: the presentations were part of a workshop, where the board signaled its direction but took no votes. There are two upcoming public hearings, September 8 and September 21, when council will vote to adopt the proposed budget and next year’s property tax rate. See: “Between Garfield and Reagan, Palm Coast OK’s 15% Tax Increase, Claiming It for the Good of Future Residents.”
The fleet replacement program by item: