Sycamore City Council expedites fire engine purchase

SYCAMORE – A weekend fire played into City Council’s decision to let the Sycamore Fire Department expedite the purchase of a new fire engine.

The council unanimously approved a consideration to buy a replacement fire engine through a purchasing cooperative agreement during its meeting Monday. The department will work with one of two cooperatives to purchase an engine with a water capacity of 3,000 gallons for an estimated $550,000. It will replace the 30-year-old Engine 4.

Assistant Fire Chief Todd Turner told council members that it didn’t matter whether firefighters who responded to Saturday morning’s fire had a new truck, they would have run out of water. However, an engine with a higher capacity than Engine 4’s 2,000 gallons would have helped, he said.

Firefighters responded at 3 a.m. Saturday to a fire at a Sycamore home. No injuries were reported, but the fire was estimated to have caused $150,000 in damage.

“We had our hands full when we pulled up there,” Turner said. “Unfortunately, we ended up running out of water, but we were able to knock down the main body of the fire.”

The agreement will allow the department to work with Texas-based HGACBuy or Minnesota-based Sourcewell to secure a cheaper price on a Rosenbauer pumper-tanker. A previous purchasing cooperative agreement saved the fire department $5,000 on an ambulance, according to the council’s meeting agenda.

“We’ve seen better prices through the cooperative then we have even through our bidding process,” City Manager Brian Gregory said.

Engine 4 was purchased in 1989 and was meant for rural communities because of the truck’s high water capacity, Turner said. Now faced with a growing rural population, the department needs a newer truck that can hold more.

The department will sell Engine 4 to offset the cost of the half-million-dollar truck it plans to purchase. The city and the Fire Protection District will also provide $365,000.

Other business

The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance amendment Monday to prohibit parking along the west side of Locust Street between Exchange Street and Sycamore Street. The amendment was put forward after DeKalb County installed a curb along Locust Street, according to the council’s meeting agenda.

Public Works has installed a drive-up water-bill drop box in front of the Public Works building, 475 N. Cross St., Public Works Director Fred Busse said. The two other boxes at the old Water Department building, 202 E. Page St., will remain active until July 19, Busse said.