Vicksburg Fire Department to Get New $1.8 Million Air Truck; Police Department Switches to 9mm Handguns – The Vicksburg Post

The Vicksburg Fire Department is getting a new 100-foot aerial platform truck to replace an older truck in their fleet.

The estimated $1.8 million truck was the only item approved Thursday as the council of mayor and aldermen held a series of budget meetings with city department heads to discuss capital items such as projects and equipment. With the exception of the new fire truck, all other budget requests have been taken under advisement by council.

City officials are considering a budget of $33.12 million for fiscal year 2023 that does not include employee salary increases but does include money to hire a civil engineer and a city planner. Both positions, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said, are necessary for the city’s future.

Under state law, the council is required to have a new budget in place by Sept. 15. The fiscal year begins on October 1. A public hearing on the budget has not been scheduled.

“The good news about yesterday’s budget hearing is that department heads were able to submit budgets and are going to have to run their departments on the same budget for two years in a row,” Flaggs said on Friday. “The only thing they presented was capital requirements.”

The board moved onto the fire truck after discussing the fire department’s capital equipment needs with Fire Chief Craig Danczyk.

“We haven’t bought a big scale truck in 21 years and we have two in the fleet – one is 21 and the other is 29,” Danczyk said. “The 29-year-old Truck is a bit any day; it’s so old (that) every day we come out of it is a blessing.

Danczyk said the truck would take about 25 months to build after it was ordered and would likely be ready in 2025.

“We wouldn’t have to prepay until we got it,” he said. “There’s no way to get this truck in one budget year, and then it would take every bit of two budget years.”

He said the truck would replace the 29-year-old 14 scale. Platform 1, the department’s other 21-year-old flatbed truck, would be a backup antenna.

“If we order now, it won’t be ready until 2025,” Flaggs said. “We don’t start paying until we get it?” You understand.”

Flaggs said after the meeting that the decision to buy the truck was the right decision.

“You just have to start paying in 2025 and based on the condition of the ones you have now, I think that makes sense,” he said. “Why should I wait, when it’s taking so long to build it and I’m not going to start paying on a rental purchase until 2025.”

The mayor called the proposed budget “a fiscally responsible budget because of the big jobs coming up and Baxter Wilson’s loss of revenue.”

Entergy shut down its Baxter Wilson power station on Kemp Bottom Road in May, resulting in an annual loss of $760,990 in property tax revenue.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to balance the budget and I’m confident we’ll continue to move forward providing the best quality service at the lowest cost to the taxpayer,” Flaggs said. “In six months I’ll be ready to consider a raise, but not now as a protective measure.”

The decision to wait for increases, he said, was to protect the budget until the council had a better idea of ​​the cost of “big items” like upgrades to the processing plant. city ​​water at Haining Road, a new elevated reservoir in the southern part of the city and improvements to the Rifle Range Road treatment plant.

“And include eminent domain (to acquire property for the new port); it was a big ticket, and the matching funds for ARPA (American Recovery Plan Act) money,” he said, adding that some ARPA funds for tourism and public safety are included in the budget. “What I created (with the budget) is a guarantee for the city in the future.”

Flaggs said $1 million from the city’s reserve fund was used to acquire property for the new port.

Other major budget requests include:

• Water treatment plant: $7.12 million for clarifier piping, a new well, system upgrades and a new elevated water tank.

• Sewer lines: $5 million for the improvement of utility facilities and systems.

• Police Department: Renovation of police department buildings and a surveillance post for NOLA cameras, $30,000; five Dodge Chargers equipped to replace high-mileage cars, $219,000; Glock Model 17 9mm Handguns with Three Magazines, Glock Model 43X 9mm Handguns with Two Magazines, Glock 44 .22 Caliber Handgun, 9mm SBR Rifle for SWAT Team, Body Armor, Holsters, tasers and a 40mm LMT launcher for the SWAT team, $213,291. The launcher would be used by SWAT to launch things such as tear gas canisters.

Deputy chief Mike Bryant said the Chargers will have six-cylinder engines and all-wheel drive. He said Dodge doesn’t make all-wheel-drive Chargers with V-8 engines.

Bryant said the police department wants to switch from .357 caliber Glock handguns to 9mm handguns. He said special ammunition for .357s cost $100 more per case than a case of 9mm ammunition and the department could save money by making the switch.

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