The borough will purchase a new fire pumper truck for the east side fire station for $516,000.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses awarded a bid for the project to Northeastern Fire Equipment of Cheshire during its meeting Tuesday night at Town Hall.
Naugatuck Fire Chief Ken Hanks said the truck would replace a 1992 pumper truck that the borough uses as a reserve for emergencies. That truck will be refurbished and given more safety features so that it will have another eight or nine years worth of use, Hanks said.
The new truck will be constructed in Wisconsin and will head to Naugatuck right around Christmas time, Hanks said.
Northeastern Fire Equipment was the third lowest of five bidders. But a committee of 10 fire department members agreed the company’s bid best met the specifications that the committee was seeking, Hanks said. The bids ranged from $457,000 to $573,000. The truck will be financed from the reserve fund or another funding source that Controller Wayne McAllister believes is necessary, officials said Tuesday.
Hanks said the truck came in about $40,000 cheaper than what the fire department originally asked officials to spend.
“The major differences in the bids is we liked the fully extruded aluminum body (that Northeastern will provide),” he said. “It’s an extremely strong body and it does not rust. We have a 1992 truck with that body and it has no corrosion on it.”
He said he also liked that the bid chosen called for an independent front suspension, which provides great stability and keeps the truck upright when going around corners or “when weaving in and out of traffic like on New Haven Road at 4 o’clock on a weekday.”
The lone dissenting vote came from Burgess Bob Neth, who said a bid from Yankee Fire and Rescue of Palmer, Mass., was about $30,000 less than the one awarded and seemed to meet all the borough’s specifications as spelled out in bid documents.
David Rybinski, a sales representative for Yankee Fire and Rescue and a Beacon Falls firefighte, also argued Tuesday that his company met the exact bid specifications and yet wasn’t chosen. His company bid for a partial aluminum body and beam suspension, which is what vendors were given the option to include per the bid, Rybinksi said.
He said his company met the bid specifications 100 percent and therefore should have been awarded the project since its price was lower.
Hanks disagreed with Rybinski’s interpretation of the bid specifications and ultimately so did the majority of board members, who were comfortable with Hanks’ recommendation.
Neth, who told Patch he is an acquaintance of Rybinski’s, said his decision to vote against the proposal had nothing to do with his personal relationship with Rybinski. He simply did not think it fair that Yankee Fire and Rescue was not awarded the bid.
Neth did, however, commend Hanks for putting the project out to bid. Previously, other administrations had solicited bids from just one company or wrote a bid proposal so that a particular company would be awarded the job. That was a process, Neth said, that probably cost the borough money in the past.