The Grey Highlands may acquire up to $1.6 million worth of new vehicles in 2022, according to its draft capital projects budget.
The asks include a new emergency response/pumper vehicle for the Fire Department, a new grader and plow truck for the transportation department, and six conventional vehicles for various departments.
Of the $1.6 million in proposed vehicles, $195,000 in funding would come from capital reserves, $29,000 from the tax levy, $45,000 through grants or cost recovery, and $1.36 million from debentured loans.
The transportation department’s requests include $46,000 for a replacement pick-up truck, $480,000 for a replacement grader, and $175,000 for a replacement plow truck.
Each request comes due to the current vehicles exceeding their recommended useful lifespan.
The current plow truck slated for replacement is a 2007 model.
“Ongoing repair costs are increasing annually and the eventual failure of major components is likely and would exceed the overall value of the machine,” the request states.
The current plow truck would move into a support role, to be dispatched in case of the failure of the municipality’s active plows.
The municipality’s grader, also a 2007 model, would similarly move into a support role.
The requested pick-up truck will replace an aging 2012 Ford F150, which is currently used as a shop truck for Maxwell Depot.
The new vehicle will serve as the team leader’s truck, and the current team leader truck, a 2016 Ford F150, will move into the role of shop truck.
As proposed, $22,500 of the funds will come from grants or cost recovery, and the rest will be covered through debenture.
The fire department’s requests include $700,000 for a replacement pumper and $65,000 for a replacement fire inspection/prevention vehicle.
Both requests come due to the current vehicles exceeding their recommended useful lifespan.
The department’s current pumper, a 2000 model, is currently five years past its recommended lifespan, and will continue service as a secondary response vehicle, “equipped to respond to motor vehicle accidents, grass fires, and rope rescues,” as stated in the request.
As proposed, the new pumper would be funded by $100,000 in capital reserves, $580,000 in debentures, and $20,000 in grants or cost recovery.
The requested fire inspection/prevention vehicle would replace a 2014 Ford Escape with 230,000 kilometres of mileage, and would be covered through $60,000 in debenture and $5,000 in grants or cost recovery.
Building services has asked for $50,000 to purchase a hybrid vehicle to complement its current fleet of three inspection vehicles, in its efforts to complete inspections mandated by the Ontario Building Code.
The department wishes to purchase a vehicle with a higher clearance than conventional SUVs because “the uneven ground, construction sites and farm properties that the inspectors must attend are difficult to manoeuvre with a low clearance vehicle causing more wear and tear, and damage to the undercarriage,” the request states.
Additionally, the request comes due to the requirement for inspections to be carried out in a 48-hour time frame, which could be impacted if any vehicles are in for repair.
As proposed, funds for this vehicle would come from the municipality’s capital reserves.
Parks and Recreation has requested $45,000 for a work van to replace its 2011 Ford Escape, which requires significant repairs, as well as $29,000 for a ‘multi-purpose utility vehicle’ to assist with various operations throughout the year - including spring maintenance, outdoor rink maintenance, snow removal, and assistance during community events, among others.
As proposed, $43,500 of funds for the work van would come through debenture, and the multi-purpose vehicle would be paid for through the tax levy.
The request states that the multi-purpose vehicle “will increase efficiency and reduce municipal costs,” and that “the cost of the unit would be recovered in approximately 5 years.”
Public utilities has requested $45,000 for a replacement three-quarter-ton pick-up truck, as their current truck is being redeployed to the waste and diversion department.
The request states that “an additional truck will allow staff access to a municipal vehicle and won't have to use their own to ensure they are on-site when required.”
As proposed, the funds for the truck would come from capital reserves.
The 2022 budget is still in draft form and has not been approved by council.
Two public open house sessions are scheduled for Nov. 17, with the first taking place from 10 a.m. to noon and the second from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Four meetings are scheduled for budget deliberations on Nov. 22, 24, 29, and 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m
Council will meet again on Dec. 2 and Dec. 6 to ratify the budget.
All budget deliberations will be held virtually. Click here for the council meeting schedule and virtual links.
Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca