Allen to help fund new fire vehicle
At the Aug. 24 meeting, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors approved a motion to donate up to $1 million toward the purchase of a high-reach extendible turret (HRET) vehicle.
The need for an HRET vehicle was addressed in the fire department’s capital equipment plan presented at the Aug. 10 supervisors meeting.
In the presentation, fire company President Jacob Schock discussed the “old” versus “new” Allen Township.
The fire company is well-equipped for the “old” Allen Township, which consisted of small, one- or two-story buildings; however, the “new” township features larger, wider and taller buildings like warehouses. Additionally, the fire company has seen a decrease in volunteers over the years. Both of these problems can be addressed with the new HRET vehicle.
Upon hearing the fire company’s need for an HRET vehicle, the board was in favor of its purchase but wanted more information.
Fire company Vice President Mark Kocher was present at the meeting to provide more details. He stated the vehicle would cost around $1,020,000 from both manufacturers with the specifics they are looking for.
Kocher also discussed potential early payoff situations. One manufacturer charges $1,016,534 for an HRET truck, but there are ways to get a discount. If the fire company were to pay off each piece, such as the aerial and chassis, separately and then add in a performance bond, the price would decrease to $1,000,373.
The fire company could also pay the vehicle in full right away, which would offer a discount of $33,306, making the final price around $985,000.
The board approved the donation of up to $1 million toward the purchase of the new vehicle. If the price were to go over the approved cap, the fire company would pay the difference, as well as pay for any additional supplies and materials needed.
In other business, the board discussed converting township documents into online records, using the services of Scantek Inc.
“For the past couple years, [the township has] been looking at this, and I think it’s time to proceed,” township Manager Ilene Eckhart said. “The technology has really been improved with the PDA-accessible files, and the price actually has come down.”
While the board did approve a motion to pursue the document scanning program with Scantek, it will be a time-consuming process. This is because Eckhart will have to determine which documents the township is required to keep through the Municipal Record Retention Act, in addition to any others the township sees fit to move online.
Further, the township started requiring online submissions a few years ago, so some documents are already online. These documents will have to be looked at first to ensure they aren’t scanned in again. Eckhart also discussed going through the Hanover Engineering files, since a lot of them are duplicates.
Both Eckhart and Supervisor Gary Behler stressed the importance of backing up their files. The township would retain all original paper copies and look into getting a free-standing backup server to store files as well.
The board of supervisors next meets 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the fire company building, 3530 Howertown Road.