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Mayor Announces Plan for $15 Million Purchase of Heavy Equipment


Ambulances and Pumper Engines for Fire Department, Paving Equipment and Trash Trucks for Public Works

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today announced legislation has been filed with the Metro Council for the purchase of $15 million in heavy equipment, primarily for the Fire Department, Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The Metro Action Commission also would get nine school buses.

“As we went through the economic recession and several years of tight budgets, we asked our departments to find ways to use some of their heavy equipment beyond the normal replacement schedule,” Mayor Dean said. “We know we have reached the time that several pieces of aging equipment need to be replaced and some additional equipment purchased in order to serve the needs of our growing city. Public safety continues to be of utmost importance, and that is why you see us replacing ladder trucks and pumper engines in our Fire Department and adding more ambulances to our fleet.”

The departments that would get new equipment include the following:

  • Public Works, $6.8 million
    The proposal includes more than 50 pieces of replacement equipment. They include the following:
    • Five Knuckle Boom trucks with trailers for brush pick-up and storm response.
    • Three dump trucks, which are also used as salt trucks.
    • Seven trash trucks and two recycling trucks.
    • Two street sweepers and sweeping equipment.
    • Paving and patching equipment, including graders, rollers, spreaders and asphalt trucks.
  • Fire Department, $6.4 million
    The proposal includes 16 pieces, including the following:
    • Eight replacement pumper engines and two replacement ladder trucks.
    • Six additional ambulances.
  • Metro Action Commission, $1 million
    Nearly all these funds would purchase replacement buses for this agency, which provides free preschool education to low-income children through the federal Head Start program.
  • Parks and Recreation, $700,000
    The proposal includes 16 pieces of replacement and new pieces of equipment, including the following:
    • Five additional passenger vans for use at community centers to transport children participating in summer enrichment and afterschool programs.
    • Trucks, tractors and other equipment to assist with maintaining parks, open space and greenways. Metro has added hundreds of acres of new open space and several miles of new greenways in recent years.

“Aging equipment requires more time for servicing, which is ultimately more expensive and delays the ability of departments to get work done,” said Nancy Whittemore, director of Metro General Services. “We’ve already removed some aging equipment from the field, and all equipment that is being replaced meets our criteria based on mileage, years of service and whether the cost to repair would be greater than the cost to replace.”

If approved by the Metro Council, Metro would purchase the vehicles through its short-term borrowing program. That program would be repaid from future funds in Metro’s Four Percent Reserve Fund over the next four years. The Metro Charter requires that 4 percent of the General Fund be set aside for the purchase of equipment and to make repairs to buildings.