Bay greenlights once-controversial purchase of aerial ladder fire truck
By Cassandra Favre
Jan 28, 2014, 13:09
The Bay St. Louis City Council last week approved financing for the fire department's new Ferrara HD-77 ladder truck.
City Clerk David Kolf presented councilmen two quotes regarding financing the truck, one from First Capital Equipment Leasing Corp. for a 10-year period at 2.794 percent interest rate with a yearly payment of $66,884. The second quote was from Republic First National, a 10-year term with an interest rate of 3.79 with an annual payment of $70,752.
"I'd like the council to consider accepting the First Capital Equipment Leasing Corp. for the term of 10 years," Kolf said. "That's a company that we have done business with before. We have bought police cars from them and they have been very good to work with in the past."
Kolf said that the advantage of going through a municipal equipment leasing company is that you get a non-appropriation clause in your contract.
"This simply says that in any year, we decide not to budget funds for the purchase," Kolf said. "we can return the equipment and we're out of the contract.
"Financing through a bank, once you sign a note, you're committed to that note payment every year.
"The municipal leasing financing gives you a way out of the purchase, if at some point in time a future council determines it doesn't want to budget for that piece of equipment, we can get out of it simply by not appropriating the budget for that."
Kolf said a bank wants you to certify that you will use that piece of equipment until the note is paid off.
Ward Five Councilman Joey Boudin asked Kolf if he had heard from state auditor's agent Chris Lott saying that everything was on the up-and-up with the purchase.
"There's nothing in terms of violating purchasing law," Kolf said. "Everything was done in accordance with state law.
"There's nothing wrong, met with him last week."
Councilmen approved the financing agreement with First Capital Equipment Leasing Corp. for a 10-year period.
Council approved the motion with Kolf's assurance that the truck is being purchased in accordance with Mississippi law.
Brett Kittredge, Communications Director for the Mississippi State Auditor's office said on Thursday," we still have no comment regarding impending investigations."
"Now that financing is approved by the council," Fire Chief Pam SanFillippo said Thursday, "I'm hoping it shouldn't take but a couple of days to get all the financing arrangements settled.
"There are still a few little details left to finish up on the truck, but I'm hoping for a delivery as early as next week."
In other action:
• The March 4 city council meeting was moved to Thursday March 6, due to the Mardi Gras holiday.
• Mayor Les Fillingame issued a proclamation to the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse and proclaimed 2014 as the "Year of the Seahorse." The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 1814 Battle of Bay St. Louis this year.