City earmarks CD to new ladder truck for Demopolis Fire Department

Published 3:34 pm Thursday, June 13, 2024

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The City of Demopolis is opting to save up for a new truck for the Demopolis Fire Department instead of going into debt to replace its aging 22-year-old ladder truck.

Mayor Woody Collins said the council tasked the finance committee to come up with a way to finance a new fire truck for the city. The best option that was recommended was to take $2 million that was already sitting in a certificate of deposit savings account and use that to money to purchase a new ladder truck for the fire department.

While the money is more than what is needed to buy the truck, Collins said the CD would be able to pay for the truck. 

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“The interest that accrues will be enough to pay for the truck in its entirety,” Collins said during the meeting last week, which was live-streamed on the city’s social media page.

The council approved the request unanimously. The $2 million was already put into a CD, but Collins said that the interest was earmarked for the truck. The CD will also be continuously rolled from year to year until the fire truck is ready.

Ladder truck needs to be replaced

Collins said it will likely take anywhere from 36 to 48 months to get a new ladder truck, and the current ladder truck is near the end of its life with being in service for 22 years. The finance committee considered whether it would be most beneficial to pay for it out of the general fund to get a discount, finance the truck or put the money in a savings account until the truck is ready. One of the reasons why is that interest rates are higher than they have been in years.

“That’s so that the next council doesn’t have to worry about it,” Collins said. “When the finance committee ran the numbers, it made the most sense to just put the CD toward the fire truck, and with the interest, it will be more than enough than what it will cost for a new truck.” 

Mobile home discussion

The council reported to resident Yolanda Thomas that she will not be able to put a manufactured home on her property. The property previously had a mobile home, but due to city ordinance that was passed several years ago, mobile homes are not allowed to be replaced on certain zoning inside the city limits.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have good news for you,” Collins said to her. “Back in 2021, the council rescinded the ordinance about replacing a mobile home in a neighborhood. Yours will be the third request that we will have to consider a variance to that ordinance. We have not approved the other two, and we are not going to be able to show favoritism and just do one.”

Thomas said the mobile home has been there for a long time.

“That’s my home, and I should be able to do with it as I please,” Thomas told the council. “I need more room. I have nowhere to go. That’s my home. That’s what I’ve got to do. I need a bigger house.

“The people that made that law don’t live in that neighborhood.”

Collins said the other two persons who asked for a variance had the same request, but the city council had to abide by the ordinance.

“I understand your concerns and I really feel for you,” Collins said. “But that’s the law we’ve got in the community. This ordinance was passed as a request of neighborhoods.”