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Jefferson City committee OKs fire department vehicle purchase

Jefferson City committee OKs fire department vehicle purchase

February 23rd, 2019 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

Jefferson City Fire Department truck

Photo by News Tribune /News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Fire Department hopes to purchase a new utility emergency vehicle with money left over following the sale of several fire trucks.

The Jefferson City Finance Committee on Thursday approved the Fire Department's request to purchase a replacement utility vehicle pending approval from the Jefferson City Public Safety Committee next week. If both committees give approval, the request will go to the Jefferson City Council for final approval.

The City Council authorized the Fire Department to purchase seven fire trucks and sell seven old fire apparatus in June 2017. After the sale, the department had $62,500 in surplus funds in its fire apparatus fleet account, Fire Chief Matt Schofield said.

The Fire Department requested those funds go toward purchasing two replacement utility vehicles.

"We do use them extensively for emergency purposes and day-to-day purposes, but they are emergency vehicles," Schofield said. "We try to manage the fleet as much as we can and get as much use out of them as we can."

The Fire Department typically maintains its small-vehicle fleet for 15 years and more than 100,000 miles, he said.

While the Finance Committee was in favor of funding at least part of the Fire Department's request, members briefly discussed if the full $62,500 should go toward the department's utility vehicles since the city has a growing aging fleet issue and other anticipated expenses coming up.

"I'm in favor of at least purchasing one vehicle because these are at the end of their service life and maybe looking at what other departments need before agreeing to a second vehicle," Ward 3 Councilwoman Erin Wiseman said.

Since the surplus money goes into the city's general revenue fund, Jefferson City Finance Director Margie Mueller said, the funds did not have to go to solely the fire department.

If the council approves the request, any funds left over after the replacement utility vehicle purchase will go into the general revenue fund.

The Fire Department requested replacement utility vehicles over the last two fiscal years, but the City Council did not fund them.

Sales tax revenue up for December

In other business, the 1 percent general sales tax for December was $885,496 — $7,758 over budget, the financial report states.

The half-cent capital improvement tax brought in $427,711 in December — $50,717 over budget, the report notes. The half-cent parks sales tax in December generated $427,689 — $31,845 over budget.

The city collected nearly $70,509 in lodging tax in December, the report states. The 7-cent lodging tax has collected nearly $8.76 million since voters approved the tax increase in 2011.

The 4-cent tourism fund has more than $5.13 million.

Jefferson City saw an increase in occupancy in December 2018 compared to December 2017 — 46 percent compared to 40.8 percent, according to the financial report.