Evanston’s Fire Department will seek City Council approval Monday to spend $802,163 to buy a replacement for a 15-year-old fire engine.

City staff are recommending funding the purchase by transferring money from the city’s general fund surplus. The city has already spent its $2 million equipment replacement fund budget for this year.

Sean Ciolek, facilities and fleet manager for the city, in a memo to council members, says the 2007 Pierce Dash engine the department wants to replace cost $484,000 new and has had repairs totaling more than $286,000 over the past 15 years.

Ciolek says that with rising costs and supply chain issues “it would be advantageous for the City to move forward with this purchase at this time.”

The new Engine 21 will be the same model as a new Engine 24 already on order and Engine 22, shown here, which was ordered in 2019..

It’s expected to take 24 months from the time the engine is ordered before it will be delivered, and Ciolek says delays in ordering the new vehicle “could greatly increase” maintenance and repair costs on the existing engine and cause interruptions of service.

He says an engine or ladder truck should be replaced every two to three years to keep the city’s front-line fleet of five engines and two ladder trucks reliable.

The city has purchased new fire engines in 2021, 2019, 2012 and 2009 and new ladder trucks in 2014 and 2011.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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