Zachary eyes new fire apparatus

The City Council agreed Tuesday to seek State Bond Commission approval for financing the purchase of a new pumper-ladder fire truck, although members were unsure of how the administration plans to pay for it.

Neither Mayor David Amrhein nor Chief Financial Officer Steve Nunnery were able to attend the meeting, but Fire Chief Danny Kimble said the city has an opportunity to buy a slightly used fire truck equipped with an extension ladder for $685,000.

The truck is a demonstration model with 16,000 miles on it, but the manufacturer will give the city a new-truck warranty, Kimble said.

To maintain its fire insurance rating, Kimble said, the Fire Department will need to add a ladder truck to its fleet when the city has five buildings with three stories or more.

He said the city now has four, and there is a question of whether the design of the new Zachary High School gymnasium makes it technically a fifth three-story structure.

Kimble said the city will not get insurance rating credit for the truck until it adds more employees to the department, but the purchase offer is worth moving to buy it now. The truck will function as a pumper at first but its ladder still will be available in fighting fires, he said.

Councilman Francis Nezianya said Nunnery told him the city would put a down payment of $100,000 or $125,000 and seek Bond Commission approval to pay off the note over a five-year period.

Other topics before the council included:

SIGN NIXED: The council voted 5-0 to deny Lenco Finance Co. a waiver to add a neon sign saying “Loans” on its tall pylon sign outside its Waywood Drive office, off La. 64. Nezianya made the motion to deny the request, saying he is a member of a nearby church and the existing neon sign shines directly on the church during its services.

MOBILE HOME WAIVER: Members told Ventura Place resident Wilbur Scott and about nine of his neighbors that they were unaware that the subdivision had deed restrictions when they granted a waiver to allow a modular home to be placed in the development last year.

Scott asked the council to rescind the waiver, but City Attorney John Hopewell said the deed restrictions outweigh the waiver. However, the residents must enforce their covenant through the courts.

“This isn’t your fight,” Hopewell told the council.