ASHLAND - At a special meeting Thursday, Ashland City Council members approved the purchase of a new fire engine.
The approximately $613,000 truck will replace an 18-year-old engine at the existing fire station and will be moved to the department's new satellite station once construction of the new facility is complete.
Samaritan Hospital Foundation has agreed to provide $300,000 toward the truck's purchase, provided the city constructs a new station on land donated by University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center.
The remainder of the truck's cost will be paid for using a fund set aside for fire equipment purchases.
The money for the equipment fund comes from the city's contracts with Milton and Montgomery townships, which receive fire and EMS services from Ashland. Residents of those two townships likely will be served out of the satellite station, which will be built at the intersection of Mifflin Avenue and U.S. 42.
Fire chief Rick Anderson said he sought three bids from fire apparatus companies and received two responses from bidders.
While the losing bid came in lower at $563,000, Anderson said that bid was for a truck that was missing about $60,000 worth of features and equipment the department wanted.
"The one that I propose is from Herb Fire. It's a Sutphen fire truck that's made in Columbus," Anderson said.
Anderson said the truck is similar to another one the department purchased a few years ago. Department staff are happy with that truck's performance, he said.
The new truck will be custom-built for Ashland's needs and will be delivered in about nine months, Anderson said.
Anderson anticipates construction on new station will begin next spring.