After several months of planning and preparation culminating in two bids from fire equipment manufacturers, Mahoning Township supervisors, at the recommendation of a committee of the fire company and township fire chief Mark Ebbert, unanimously agreed to contract Nesquehoning based KME-Kovatch Organization to build their custom pumper for an amount of $467,217.
KME along with Pierce were the two bidders that were accepted at the December 27th meeting, but the bids were turned over to the fire department for their review and recommendation. The Mahoning Township Fire Company spent several months planning the specifications and assembling the bid package before it was advertised by the township in November.
KME's bid was $31,321 lower than the $498,448 bid submitted by Pierce for the pumper. Chairperson John Wieczorek said he reviewed both bids and besides the Pierce one being the more expensive he found "seven or eight" instances where there were exceptions to the fire company's specifications while KME's bid was right in line with the requirements.
One concern for supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt was how the township was intending to finance the pumper. Wieczorek said that the pumper was being paid for by a combination of the fire company, the township fire equipment fund and a one or two percent loan for the balance.
Steigerwalt asked how much would be left in the account once the truck was paid. Secretary-Treasurer Natalie Haggerty informed him there would be about $100,000 left in the account which currently has a balance of $377,000. The loan will be for $100,000 and the fire company will pick up the balance of the bill with their funds.
Wieczorek said the township increased the fire equipment millage in the new budget by a quarter mill which increases the yearly contribution to the fund from about $28,000 to about $56,000.
A representative from KME who was not identified mentioned that Kovatch did offer some third party leasing options, but Steigerwalt said he thought nothing would come close to the guaranteed two percent loan available to the township.
All of the supervisors voted in favor of signing the sales agreement.