The Greenwood City Council met in special session on Tuesday, July 20 at 6 p.m., Greenwood City Hall. The lone item on the agenda, the authorization for the fire department to purchase a fire apparatus.
All members of the council were present including Daniel McDaniel, Lance Terry, AC Brown, Tim Terry, Ralph Meeker, and Rod Powell. Also present, City Clerk/Treasurer Sharla Derry, Mayor Doug Kinslow, and Fire Chief Stewart Bryan. City Attorney Mike Hamby was not present for the meeting.
Chief Bryan addressed the members of the council stating that because of COVID, a significant price increase was imminent and that it had been decided by the Apparatus Committee, which is comprised GFD officers, that a model the same as Engine #3 was needed to replace Engine #1 in the existing fleet.
Chief Bryan explained the various details of the apparatus and gave reasons as to why the request was being made. Those reasons included:
- August 1st price increase of approximately $25,000
- Current E1 is out of NFPA certification
- If purchased now, it will pay off before the 1/4 cent sales tax expires
- Sales taxes are up and it is a good time to make the purchase
- Equipment will be purchased after the first of the year in next budget cycle
A comprehensive financial analysis was presented by Finance Director Tom Marsh, via telephone. The cost of the Sutphen Pumper is $566,991.45. This purchase will be the third outstanding loan for the department. The fire station property and previous pumper loan will be paid off in August of 2022 and July 23 respectively. The Sutphen Pumper loan at a monthly payment of $10,125.23 would extend to August 2026.
The clerk asked that two items be added to the resolution authorizing the purchase. One, the phrasing that bid requirements do not apply as the Fire Department is a member of the “BuyBoard” and two, a description of what is being purchased. Derry asked that those two items be added to Section 1.
After discussion, a motion was made by Tim Terry and seconded by Lance Terry to approve the purchase authorization resolution with the modifications discussed. The motion passed with a majority vote, 5-to-1, with McDaniel voting against.
A motion was made by Tim Terry and seconded by AC Brown to approve the budget amendment resolution for the apparatus purchase as presented. Again, the motion passed with a majority vote, 5-to-1, with McDaniel voting against.
Three of the council members who voted for the measure are officers on the fire department: AC Brown, Rod Powell, and Lance Terry.
Resident Press reached out to Councilman McDaniel for comment, he stated “If we need a piece of equipment and we have the money to buy the piece of equipment, I have no problem with that. My problem and my NO vote was because of the process with which this was handled. We are supposed to be a public entity, discuss things out in the open, and budget big-ticket items, none of that happened. Instead, a special meeting was called with four and a half hours’ notice and I simply don’t think that looks above board, especially when half of the voting council members are also the officers of the department making the special request.”
“Buying this truck is exactly why the taxpayers voted for the 1/4 cent sales tax,” stated Mayor Doug Kinslow. “The fire department is doing what it needs to do in order to maintain our ISO rating and it is a good insurance savings for folks. The taxpayers were kind enough to make sure we have the funds to maintain the department.”