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City okays borrowing for water tender

Cranbrook city council approved applying for a $400,000 loan to replace its ageing water tender truck.

Arne Petryshen

Cranbrook city council approved applying for a $400,000 loan to replace its ageing water tender truck.

Fire and Emergency Services' 1993 International 4900 water tender has been in service for 22 years. City staff noted the insurance industry only recognizes fire apparatus for 20 years, so it no longer meets the insurance industry water supply requirements.

The water tender is required to provide fire protection to locations in the service area that do not have a fire hydrant, such as nearly all of Area C.

Council authorized city staff to proceed with the equipment financing application for a five-year term agreement for $400,000 and had no issues on that end, though councillors had questions regarding the old tender.

Coun. Tom Shypitka asked about whether there was any resale value of the old equipment, a subject he noted was brought up before.

CAO Wayne Staudt said it was not likely.

"With the existing old tender, I'm not sure whether there will be a water tanker, but if there is we certainly will pursue that," Staudt said. "In the past we have donated some old fire equipment to some of our neighbouring communities, so if that opportunity comes up, that's a council decision."

He said city staff would bring the choice to donate the equipment back to council if council so choses.

"But there is very little uptake on this used equipment because it is beyond the life expectancy that the insurance association will recognize and that put your coverage in jeopardy," he said.

Coun. Ron Popoff said that while at the UBCM convention there was a forum called GovDeals.

"Sort of like government eBay," Popoff said. "This might be an exact issue, CAO Staudt, where we may not have value for it, but you put this on the government eBay, there may be someone elsewhere in Canada that's interested and will bid on it."

Popoff thought the city might even make revenue on it. He said he would share the information on GovDeals with city staff and council.

The successful bid for the new water tender came in at just under $394,000 including PST. Additional hose will also be purchased and the report said it will be purchased within the $400,000 budget.

City staff anticipated it will arrange a loan with the Municipal Finance Authority of BC in December 2015 with debt servicing beginning in 2016.

The annual principal and interest payment over the five-year term of the loan is estimated to be $84,800 and the city estimates the impact to a residential taxpayer will be an increase to the general municipal tax levy of approximately $2 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Under the Cranbrook Rural Fire Protection Agreement, the Regional District of East Kootenay will contribute 20 per cent to the annual debt servicing costs.