Fire officials in Thomson and McDuffie County have joined together to purchase two new fire engines, which is expected to save taxpayers an estimated $46,000.
The decision to purchase the new fire engine for Thomson Fire/Rescue was approved unanimously by members of Thomson City Council during the Dec. 9 monthly meeting. It followed a recommendation by Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell.
Councilmen John Smalley and Jaye Jones made motions to accept the recommendation.
Members of the McDuffie County Board of Commissioners, polled by telephone Friday, agreed to piggy-back with the city to purchase a new fire engine for the county fire department from the same manufacturer.
The joint venture will save taxpayers in Thomson and McDuffie County about $46,000, according to Chief Sewell and McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Chief Bruce Tanner.
"That's a pretty good savings," Chief Sewell said, noting that the decision to purchase the new fire engines allowed the departments to beat first-of-the-year price increases.
"I think we're getting an excellent buy," Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry said.
City officials agreed to accept a low bid of $283,997 from KME Fire Apparatus. The bid was submitted by NAFECO Inc.
Chief Sewell said he extensively reviewed the three lowest-priced bid packages before settling on KME Fire Apparatus.
The city fire chief explained that the low bidder meets the published specifications and is able to supply the apparatus as required. Although a little cheaper, two other companies did not meet specifications in "several areas," including chassis, cab single source and other non-proprietary specified equipment.
The county's new fire engine also will be purchased from KME Fire Apparatus. Funds to purchase both fire engines will come from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.