By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Selectmen accepted the fire chief's recommendation that the department spend $530,950 on a new fire engine but not without expressing some reservations about the manufacturer.
Chief Ken Erickson said the internal truck committee spent five months researching a replacement for the 1998 Engine 2 and got two bids – one from Pierce and one from E-One.
After Erickson recommended Pierce, largely because of the extended warranty on the galvanized steel frame rails, Selectman Jon Pike said Belmont had a previous problem collecting on a warranty from Pierce on a similar issue.
Apparently, said Pike, Pierce was purchased by Oshkosh in 1996, after the town bought the truck and Oshkosh failed to honor the Pierce warranty. Pike said that the town chose Pierce at the time because of the warranty.
Pike noted that the Laconia Fire Department, unlike Belmont, was successful at the time in getting some satisfaction from their warranty but Erickson said it was because the city went to the insurance company that issued it.
Erickson told selectmen that no contracts were signed and that before one was, he would bring it and all of the warranty paperwork to the town administrator who would have the town attorney and Primex, the town's insurer, review it.
Other reasons why Erickson recommended Pierce over E-One, who had the lowest bid, was because the money from the 10-year-lease offered by them would be deliverable to them once the contract is signed and not when the town takes delivery of the truck, which will be in about 10 months. With a one-year delay for the first payment, this lowered the annual payment from nearly $64,000 to $62,000.
Pierce offered a better trade-in value, doubled the prepaid discounts and extended the warranty on the body from 10 to 12 years.
Both bids were for stainless steel cabs, multiplex wiring and galvanized steel frame rails.
The Pierce bid was for $530,950 and the E-One bid was for $512,037. Factoring in the difference in the extended warranties by Pierce, its truck is $4,713 more than the E-One truck.
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