Northfield Village OKs ambulance buy; fire truck, police station discussed

by Ken Lahmers Correspondent
Northfield Village Council approved the purchase of an ambulance at its most recent meeting.

NORTHFIELD – Village officials are moving ahead with plans to bolster safety services by buying an ambulance, ordering a new fire truck and designing a new police station.

Village Council’s fire and safety committee met Oct. 28 prior to the regular Council meeting to discuss those issues. At the regular session, Council OK’d spending $148,613 to purchase a 2019 Ford E450 Medix MSV-II demo ambulance from Penn Care Inc. of Niles.

CARES Act (coronavirus relief) funds will be used to buy the additional ambulance, which has a self-disinfecting feature. The cost of the actual vehicle is $140,498, with amenities accounting for the remainder. The village recently received $192,219 in CARES Act funding.

Fire Chief Jason Buss outlined plans to order a Pierce fire truck for about $562,000, and council could approve the deal at its Nov. 11 or Dec. 9 meeting. Buss said it would be from nine to 12 months before the new truck arrives.

The truck would replace a 1992 Pierce pumper, which Buss said could be sold at auction online. He said refurbishing the existing truck could cost around $250,000, but the National Fire Prevention Association suggests trucks be retired after 25 years.

Buss noted the village sought quotes from four companies, but only two responded. Sutphen was the other at $606,000. The new truck would have a 450 horsepower engine, hold 750 gallons of water and have a 1,500-gallon pump and LED lights.

The expected lifespan of the new truck would be 20 to 25 years. The fire department also has a 2010 model truck in its fleet.

“We reduced the size of the cab and removed some amenities to cut the cost a little,” Buss said. “The quote provided by Pierce is guaranteed until Feb. 1, 2021, when it will increase. We’ve always had good service out of Pierce trucks.”

When asked if the village should consider purchasing an aerial tower (ladder) truck instead of the proposed pumper, Buss said he doesn’t think the village needs a bigger and more expensive truck.

“Oakwood Village and Macedonia have aerial towers which can provide mutual aid quickly in case of a major fire,” he said.

Buss explained a five-year payment plan would cost the village $118,808 a year, whereas a 10-year plan would cost $65,601. The first year’s payment would be included in the village’s 2022 or 2023 budget.

Village eyes design for new police station

Meanwhile, Police Chief John Zolgus said he will send out requests for proposals soon for the design of a new police station, which would be situated on a vacant parcel between village hall and Magnolia Avenue.

A design firm could provide a cost estimate for the building and council could award the design contract by early to mid-January. The current police station is in the basement of village hall.

In other police-related matters, council confirmed the mayor’s appointments of Anthony Pistone and Catherine Caporossi as full-time police officers. They previously were part-timers.

Zolgus reported he is looking at purchasing a device which can be moved to various streets to record speed data. He said it would cost about $3,300, and would not be used to issue tickets.

A contract was awarded to Johnson Demolition and Construction LLC to tear down the city-owned former PNC Bank building at 10435 Northfield Road. The cost would be $23,400 if the concrete slab and footings are not removed, and no more than $30,900 if they are removed.

The village bought the property a few years ago, and Councilwoman Renell Noack said the mayor, who was absent from the meeting, “has some ideas as to what to do with the lot.”

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