The city is using a budget transfer and reprogramming Community Development Block Grant funds to bulk up its fire department truck fleet.
The city council approved resolutions on Monday, March 13, to reroute the funding and to make the purchases, which amount to an investment of more than $3.3 million.
Council members made the moves after Interim Fire Chief Theron Wiggins delivered a harsh assessment of the condition of the current fleet of fire vehicles last week. “We could use about five or six trucks,” said Wiggins, who has run the department since November when Mayor Sheldon Neeley tabbed him to replace former Fire Chief Raymond Barton. “All of these trucks are needed badly ... This is what we need to continue.”
Wiggins said most fire vehicles have logged more than 175,000 miles and some have broken down at fire scenes, requiring them to be towed because of mechanical issues.