Jennifer Pierce, News 9
DEL CITY, Oklahoma -- For the first time, the Del City Fire Department is asking homeowners to help them buy much needed fire equipment.
The department is hoping to replace aging fire trucks with money from a $3 million bond issue. If residents approve the bond, the funds would purchase two pumper trucks, an aerial pumper truck, and four-wheel drive brush pumpers.
The Del City Fire Department says the cost of maintaining the old fleet and equipment has skyrocketed. The department estimates it's spent more than $167,000 in the last five years repairing brush pumpers and pumping apparatus.
The department also says in the past eight months, two of its three engines were out of service at the same time due to maintenance issues, which created a dangerous situation. At that time, there was only one fire engine available to cover the entire city, and the department was forced to temporarily close Fire Station Two and move personnel to Fire Station One.
Major Brandon Pursell, the Del City Fire Department's spokesperson, says although the new equipment would be purchased through property tax dollars, the bond issue would not raise taxes. The current bonds on the tax rolls are scheduled to be paid off this year. If voters approve the $3 million bond, it would replace the old one and continue, not increase, the tax.
The money from the bond issue would also be used to install new weather sirens. The city says the sirens in the current outdoor warning system are a mix of different styles and ages. Two of them are from the Cold War Era. The city says it's becoming increasingly difficult to find replacement parts.
The public can voice their opinions about the bond issue Tuesday night at a town hall meeting. It begins at 7 p.m. at Sunnylane Family Church on S.E. 41st Street.