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Marble Falls Fire Rescue to lease new engine

Marble Falls Fire Engine 1

Marble Falls Fire Rescue will enter a turn-in lease agreement for a new fire engine to replace Engine 1 (pictured) as the department’s front line vehicle. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

Marble Falls Fire Rescue will enter a turn-in lease agreement with PNC Equipment Finance for a new fire engine. The decision was made at a Marble Falls City Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 5. 

The new engine, which will be leased for roughly $863,000 with payments spread over the next 10 years, will allow the department to sell a 2003 Pierce Contender fire engine it currently uses as its reserve vehicle. 

“At the end of the term, the city can turn the truck back in and order a new one,” explained Fire Chief Russell Sander. “You can finance the balloon payment at the end or you can outright pay the amount off to keep the truck.” 

The fire department currently uses two engines. Engine 1, which was manufactured in 2012, serves as the front line truck, while the Pierce Contender is only used when the other is in the shop for repairs. The department also has a ladder truck. 

Approval of the lease agreement means the city can sell the 2003 engine once the new truck has arrived. Sander anticipates the sale will bring in roughly $50,000, which will be deposited into the city’s general fund. 

Once the newly leased truck is in use, which is estimated to be 13 months from the order date, Engine 1 will be moved to reserve status and the new engine will become the front line truck. The first lease payment is not due until the department is in possession of the new vehicle. The remainder will be paid through annual installments. 

Lease funding will be taken out of the city’s general fund balance. 

Sander suggested this lease program instead of purchasing a truck because it offers the city financial flexibility and the ability to pursue the use of another truck once the lease is up. 

“Staff did look at different options, and we can actually do a lease/purchase, but this program here is about $9,000 less annually,” Sander said. “The reason I’m recommending moving forward this way is we know our community is changing and this does not tie our hands to a truck that may not suit our needs in 10 years. Such as, the 2003 Contender that we are talking about selling is not large enough to carry all of our equipment right now.”