Mountain Vista Fire District's board of directors has voted to purchase two new fire engines from KME Fire Apparatus of Newquehonig, Pa.

The pumpers will be housed in the two new stations being built by the district.

The district approved the purchase at its regular board meeting June 21, authorizing a purchase price of $750,000 for both vehicles.

Scott Butler, the district's administrative chief, said Mountain Vista already has sufficient money set aside in a reserve fund to purchase the vehicles.

"As of the end of our current budget year on June 30, we will have $3.1 million in our capital reserve fund," Butler said. "I expect we will use some of that money to purchase the two vehicles."

Butler noted the actual contract price of the two pumpers was $735,910, but the board authorized the higher figure to accommodate "license fees, lettering, and any other costs that go with the final preparation and delivery of the vehicles."

Purchasing the two pumpers with money already accumulated in the capital reserve fund, Butler noted, means there would be no effect on the district's tax rate. Mountain Vista's tax rate is $1.25 per $100 of secondary assessed valuation, below that of neighboring fire districts.

Mountain Vista earlier had prepared specifications for the two pumpers and disseminated the specs to interested manufacturers of fire apparatus. Four manufacturers — KME, Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc., Crimson Fire and Pierce Manufacturing Inc. — submitted bids within the time frame specified by the specs. A fifth bidder, Seagrave Fire Apparatus, submitted a bid after the closing date.

All the bidders substantially met the bid specifications, Butler pointed out. He noted KME's bid was the lowest of the five received.

Each of the pumpers will be outfitted with a six-person cab, a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump, a 750-gallon water tank, ladders and assorted equipment. Hose, tools, breathing apparatus and other equipment will be added by the department.

Mountain Vista currently contracts with Rural/Metro, leasing stations, vehicles, personnel and equipment to provide fire protection within the Mountain Vista Fire District.

Purchase of the two pumpers would be the first apparatus that Mountain Vista owns. The district also is in the process of building two stations, one under construction on Shannon Road and the other planned for a parcel on Magee Road.

The first fire station to be owned by the district, at 9310 N. Shannon Road, north of Hardy Road and north of the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort, will be 11,500 square feet, house 11 firefighters and have 2-1/2 bays for apparatus and equipment. Butler said the structure is designed so an additional bay could be added in the future if it is needed.

Designer of the building is WSM Architects and Lloyd Construction is building it. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2010. Cost of the five acres of land, building and equipment is expected to be around $2.5 million, according to Butler.

Mountain Vista Fire District also recently purchased 3.3 acres on Magee Road, a half-mile west of the current Rural/Metro fire station serving the district, so it could construct a second district-owned station. Cost of the land was $500,000, according to Earle Ruhnke, chairman of the fire district's board of directors.

Butler said the proposed Station 2 would consist of three buildings totaling 21,183 square feet. The main structure would be the fire station at 15,072 square feet, comprised of five apparatus bays, three being drive-through, bunk rooms for a dozen firefighters, a firefighter study room, physical fitness room, kitchen and dining room, turnout gear storage and cleaning area, and a battalion chief's suite of office, bunk room, shower and meeting room.

The second building on the Magee Road site, at 4,165 square feet, would be an administration building holding all district offices, while the third structure of 1,946 square feet would be a training building that would serve as a meeting facility accommodating up to 90 people.

Butler said the cost of the Station 2 complex is estimated at $4.6 million. WSM Architects and Lloyd Construction, respectively, are the designer and builder of Station 2.

Mountain Vista Fire District was formed in November 2008 from a merger of three adjoining fire districts — North Ranch-Linda Vista, Heritage Hills and La Cañada. In 2009, Mountain Vista annexed 320 properties north of Lambert Lane and Thornydale Road, and later in the year annexed property in Oro Valley from Hardy Road south to the town line.

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