UPDATE: Fire truck borrowing bylaw subject to counter petition

Revelstoke residents wishing to oppose borrowing $915,000 to buy a slightly-used 'aerial platform' fire truck have until Nov. 21 to get at least 375 petitions against if filed at city hall.

Revelstoke residents wishing to oppose borrowing $915,000 to buy a showroom model ‘aerial platform’ fire truck have until Nov. 21 to get at least 375 petitions against if filed at city hall.

The decision to buy the truck came in late August, but the city is required to subject the borrowing bylaw to a counter-petition process. The counter petition means 10 per cent of registered electors need to express their opposition in writing to defeat it. However, even if the counter-petition is successful, the city has other options for getting borrowing approval, such as a referendum.

Coun. Tony Scarcella continued his vehement opposition to the basically new truck. The truck was used by the manufacturer as a demonstration model. Scarcella said the fire department could make do with an older, cheaper used model, instead of the “Cadillac” model they had chosen.

Scarcella won a key concession at city council’s Oct. 4 regular meeting. He sought approval for the total cost of the truck, with interest, to be included on advertising for the counter petition. Scarcella said according to his calculations, that could push the price for the truck to the $2 million range. Finance director Graham Inglis said he could provide calculations, but said he didn’t have the numbers readily available at the meeting.

Scarcella also said he wasn’t convinced that using an older model truck had negative insurance rating issues on the city, saying the Salmon Arm fire department used and older model truck but hadn’t suffered insurance rating consequences.

The city will now advertise the borrowing bylaw and the counter petition process.

Follow this link for more on the decision to purchase the aerial platform fire truck.

UPDATE: A showroom Cadillac or a travelled demonstration model?

Following the publication of this story, Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services fire chief Rob Girard called to seek clarification.

He objected to the term “showroom model” (ours) and the term “Cadillac” (Coun. Scarcella’s). He said they conjured up the image of a pristine new model. While the intent of using the term “showroom” was to conjure up a vehicle of diminished value because it had been exposed to some wear and tear, he does have a point.

“Usually the Cadillacs are sitting in the showroom,” Girard said. “somebody’s going to take that the wrong way. It is truly a demonstrator.”

Girard explained the truck will be built and then driven about by the manufacturer to be used at fire chief shows and training demonstrations. By the time it arrives in Revelstoke, it will have about 10,000–20,000 kilometres on it, Girard said. He estimates this will save the city about $80,000 over ordering a brand-new model.

The Times Review has requested the final costs of the truck (with interest) from the city’s finance department. They should be available later this week.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the minimum number of petitions needed was 376. In fact, it’s 375.