By Naomi Hatch –
A very excited Snowflake Fire Chief Pat Hancock presented bids to the Snowflake Town Council for the purchase of a Type 3/Interface fire engine May 8.
“For seven years we’ve been putting in for a new engine. We’re really excited, and excited to get the addi-tional funding,” said the chief.
He explained that the department received a $325,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and when bids were received, the bid for the engine they specified was $383,291.21 from Fire Trucks Unlimited of Henderson, Nev.
Chief Hancock said that when he and Captain Dale Call met with Town Manager Paul Watson, they dis-cussed other options and were advised that it would go to the council when they had made an attempt to get more money from the grant. The bids were very specific for a Type 3/Interface fire engine that would have more uses than a Type 1 truck. Hancock pointed out that three times they were called to help with the Wallow fire, but they did not have an engine that qualified. This new engine can be used for wildland fires, as well as residential fires.
Call was advised by FEMA representative Douglas Wood to write a letter of request to FEMA in Washing-ton, D.C., explaining the problem as well as requesting additional funds, but he was told it could take several weeks.
“It took six days and we heard back from FEMA,” said Chief Hancock. “They gave us an additional $58,291.21.”
A committee reviewed the seven bids that had been submitted and found inconsistencies with the published specifications. They concluded that the inconsistencies were significantly sufficient to remove their proposals from consideration. Also considered was the delivery time, and three companies were removed from considera-tion for this. The committee then recommended the council award the contract to Fire Trucks Unlimited for a cost not to exceed $383,291.21, with the FEMA grant paying $365,039.25. Snowflake’s five percent cost share will be $18,251.96.
Chief Hancock offered kudos to Call, who wrote the grant and the letter to FEMA.
A representative from Fire Trucks Unlimited was present, and commented on the good bid specs that were put together and the very well written grant. He noted that many requests are denied because they don’t cross their t’s and dot their i’s.
“I want you to know how grateful I am to everyone who was involved in this,” said Mayor Willis. “I think it’s amazing and I think it’s a lesson to all of us that sometimes you don’t know what you can do until you try.”
In other business, members of the Snowflake Fire Department Review Committee were approved unani-mously, including Tim Trout of Catalyst Paper, John Sherman of Iberdrola, Terrill Kay of Kay Supply, Joe Bjornn of State Farm Insurance and former vice mayor Kerry Ballard.