The City of Steinbach is purchasing a ladder truck that will cost $2,135,475, but Steinbach City Council only budgeted 2 million.
Council initially approved the purchase of the ladder truck with a budget of 2 million on March 21st. At the latest council meeting on May 2nd, council approved purchasing the truck despite it exceeding the previously approved budget.
The current ladder truck is quickly reaching the end of its service life, and council agrees it is time to replace it.
Steinbach's existing ladder truck was purchased as a used unit in 2011, and is 34 years old.
Councillor Jac Siemens says it’s a lot of money to pay for a fire truck, but the ladder truck has been a huge help to the community throughout the years.
“It has helped fight some major fires and some smaller ones as well, because it allows them to get up above the fire.”
Siemens says although the price has turned out to be almost $136,000 higher than budgeted for, if they don't purchase a ladder truck now, it would likely just become more expensive.
“It's 26 months to build the new fire truck and we won't pay for it until final delivery, but we can lock in that price now. So I'm assuming that the way things are going, if we waited the price would go up again.”
Councillor Bill Hiebert adds that Steinbach’s existing ladder truck has served the city long and well, and it’s an extremely valuable piece of equipment for the city to be able to use.
“If this one being just over $2,000,000 will serve us for the next 35 years, I think it's a pretty good deal. And as costs keep going up, it's a good thing to get this thing in order.”