Canastota: Fire truck bid under review

Only one bid was received for the new fire truck and that bid is under review. Mayor Todd Rouse said at the board meeting Nov. 3 there may have been some indication that only one group could bid on the truck.

"The bid came in at $361,000," Rouse said, "which is exactly what we were told."

Rouse suggested the truck committee go back to the other manufacturers and find out why they didn't bid.

The fire department's chairman of the truck committee, who was involved in drafting specifications for the new truck, is employed with the lone bidder.

"If that was a conflict of interest than he should have excluded himself from the committee," said Trustee Chuck Sweeney.

"The fire department should have made that decision," Rouse said. "They should have come to the village board and put it out on the table."

"Did you know he was involved?" Sweeney asked Rouse.

"Yes, but I didn't know to what extend," Rouse said.

Rouse said he was told by the committee that the intentions of the chairman were honorable and he had every reason to believe that to be true.

"But if he's the chairman of the truck committee and he gave his company the exact amount of the bid before the bid, then how do I explain that to the public?"

Rouse said they need to flush out the facts because they only have 45 days to except or reject the bid.

The committee also talked about possibly retrofitting one of the trucks that is scheduled to be replaced in 2014, Rouse said.

The village is already replacing truck 122, a 1979 pumper. The idea was to be able to replace two trucks with one truck and to not replace truck 121, which is a 1983 and needs upgrades.

Retrofitting truck 121 to serve the department's needs could be more cost effective, Rouse said. It may also have a 20-year lifespan.

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