PAYETTE — Spurred by an impending price increase for the item due to President Trump’s trade war, the Payette Fire Department is ordering a new pumper engine immediately.
The City of Payette is locking in a purchase price of $342,082 by ordering before July 1. On that date the seller, Hughes Fire Equipment, of Springfield, Oregon, plans to raise its prices by 25 percent to offset the new tariff on imported metal.
In a June 14 memorandum about the proposed purchase to the Payette City Council, Fire Chief Steve Castenada noted that the department’s Project Reserve Fund already includes $290,000 for purchase of a new engine.
The proposal was an action item on the City Council’s June 18 meeting agenda, and city officials didn’t require much persuading to approve the purchase.
Mayor Jeff Williams praised the fire department on its proficiency in installing much of the equipment that went on a new brush truck that was purchased last year. By performing all those installations, the department saved significantly on the truck’s overall cost. The department will apparently use that strategy again with the new pumper engine.
Also, a total proposed price of $353,422 doesn’t reflect two discounts that will be realized for prepayment. Even without factoring in the discounts, Williams views it as an attractive deal.
“This three hundred fifty-three thousand is way less than what I thought a pumper truck would have cost,” Williams said.
“With the tariffs that Trump just did, if we don’t order this by July first, we can expect another fifty thousand on top of this,” Castenada said a few minutes later during the discussion.
The council unanimously approved a motion by Councilor Craig Jensen to make the purchase, which will be carried out through the FireRescue GPO program of NPPGov, a national cooperative purchasing organization.
Adding the new pumper will enable the department to place the oldest of its current front-line engines, a 1985 Pierce, farther back in line, Castenada said. The chief also told councilors that having the new unit with the 1985 Pierce as a reserve apparatus helps the department to maintain its Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 4.