North Syracuse approves firetruck purchase after debate

After another heated debate between the North Syracuse Fire Department and the village board, the board approved the purchase of Engine 6 Thursday night.

For about 20 minutes, fire Chief Mark Hogan and Mayor John Heindorf exchanged words back and forth to each other, trying to prove their points. Hogan criticized Mayor Heindorf for consulting Boston-based MAA Consultants, who said that the specifics could be reviewed and returned within a week for $800. Hogan argued that the board was made aware of the need to purchase a new engine two years ago, and any consultations should have been made then. "Shouldn't you have done that two years ago, and jumped through the hoops back then as opposed to jumping through them now?" he asked the board.

Heindorf said in response, "The fact of the matter is, it's good business."

Hogan said once again that hiring consultants was a waste of his time and taxpayers' money. The price of a new engine has since risen by two to five percent, due to the board's delay of approving the purchase, he said. The current price for a new engine is estimated to be $450,000.

"What we're looking at is, a $20,000 price increase because of the delay we're running into," Hogan argued. "We've shown you and everybody on the board that we have sound, fiscal planning. We don't just arbitrarily come up with things."

Heindorf told Hogan several times that he was taking the board's decision personally. "It's not a personal thing," he told Hogan.

"Let me ask you this did you hired consultants to purchase a dump truck or plow trucks? What abut the bobcats they use to water the plants down Route 11?" Hogan asked the board, clearly frustrated. "You're singling out the fire department."

"You're 100 percent wrong," Heindorf interrupted. "We're just trying to make sure that our decision is absolutely credible."

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