Inflation stalls Naples fire truck purchase

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Many times, when planning a big purchase, inflation outpaces what has been tucked away into a savings account.

The cost estimates from a company that sells fire trucks are almost double what was originally estimated by the town’s fire department, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

“The cost of the fire engine is coming in higher than anticipated. We thought it would be $250,000. But, the cost came in at $400,000,” Paraschak said on Tuesday.

This development puts the purchase of a replacement fire apparatus on hold.

It also means that a Special Town Meeting is not yet on the horizon. A Special Town Meeting would be required in order for residents to approve the expenditure of additional funds.

“Right now, we are looking for less expensive options,” Paraschak said. “The [Fire] Chief [Chris Pond] is looking at all the options. We don’t want to waste taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.

The trade-in price for the older fire apparatus most likely won’t be enough to offset the cost of a new or gently-used rig, Paraschak said. “As a trade-in, it might bring a couple thousand dollars. The town would be better off putting it out to bid and selling as it as a dump truck,” he said.

The town manager was not certain if new cost estimates would be available by the next Naples Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday.

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