• 57°

Demopolis mayor looks to sell fire truck

With the expected delivery of two new fire trucks in 2017, Demopolis Mayor John Laney asked the members of the city council to allow him to begin marketing one of those trucks with the goal of selling it before the city takes ownership.

The Demopolis Fire Department has two trucks ordered — one through a loan and the other through a grant. Laney asked the council to allow him to market one of those trucks over the coming weeks with the goal of selling it prior to delivery.

“I would like to surplus the truck until we take delivery to see if we can sell it before delivery. We can use the money to pay the debt on that truck and pay toward the other truck. We would still have a new truck for the fire department,” Laney said. “It’s not a good financial decision to spend $500,000 on a new truck to save $12,000 a year.”

The mayor said the city could get a better price for the truck prior to taking ownership, as it would be coming straight from the manufacturer and not be considered a used truck.

According to Councilman Bill Meador, the ordering of two trucks occurred when officials felt they would not receive approval for the grant to purchase a truck. At that time, the city entered into a loan agreement for the purchase. Ultimately, the city was approved for the grant, which led to having two trucks on order.

“We only need one new truck and we do not want to turn down the grant. Both are a good deal, but we have other obligations.  We received a lot of help (from state office holders and officials) to get the grant. We may not get that help again if we turn it down,” Meador said.

The measure was approved with councilmembers Charles Jones and Cleveland Cole voting against the motion. The motion allows the mayor to market the truck, but any purchase proposals would need council approval.

Other items addressed by the council included:

• approving the rezoning of property at 410 Hwy. 80 West (formerly the Hair Hut) from Residential 1 to Business 3.

• approving the rezoning of property at 1408 Jefferson Road from Industrial 1 to Industrial 2 to allow for a new recycling business locating there.

• approving a public assembly application for the Two Rivers Arts Council to host a jazz concert on the square on April 28.

• approving the Alabama Power Service Organization to use George Franks Field for an upcoming charity event.

• approving an ABC application for Fred’s Store, 505 Hwy. 80 W to sell off-premise beer and wine.

The council did meet in private session, citing financial matters.

(This story originally appeared in the Saturday, April 8, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)