It’s time to replace the city’s fire trucks, Sandy Springs City Council says.

During its March 19 meeting the council didn’t flinch when considering the proposal to spend $3.5 million in taxpayer money to buy the new fire trucks. The fleet was nearly seven years old, and when the trucks broke down, they took longer to fix according to information provided by the city.

After a unanimous vote to replace the fleet, Councilwoman Dianne Fries summed up her feelings on the matter.

“Shiny new trucks,” she said, smiling at Fire Chief Jack K. McElfish after the vote.

The city will finance the purchase over seven years.

Here’s what the Fire Department will receive:

–          Six new trucks, purchased from Pierce Manufacturing. Pierce will buy back the city’s current fleet, resulting in a $1.2 million credit to the city. The $3.5 million purchase price reflects the $1.2 million discount.

–          The new six-truck fleet will include: two quantum-engine pumpers, three quantum quint aerials with 105 foot ladders, and one quantum-quint platform with a 100 foot platform and a bucket.

–          The quantum-quint platform will come in handy. The city has 62 high rise buildings, two-thirds of which don’t have sprinkler systems.

In addition to the new trucks, the fire department on Tuesday also received a $13,800 equipment donation from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

The Fire Department will receive 10 dry suits, one women’s tropos, 13 pairs of boots, pulleys, riggings, Steril HTP ropes, four rope bags and two Carlson River Boards. The equipment is intended to help the department rescue people from the Chattahoochee River.

So, to sum up, the city Fire Department had a good day on March 19.

In other business, City Council went into a short, closed-door meeting to discuss the sale or purchase of real estate and voted to buy the property at 182 Hilderbrand Drive for $800,000. The city is in the process of assembling parcels to become a part of the city’s future downtown.

In October the city bought property located at 150 Hilderbrand Drive for $215,000. The city knocked down the home on Feb. 21, making way for an extension of Blue Stone Road.

The road construction is part of Phase 1 of the city center plan, a project that could take as long as a decade and will cost $84 million. Under the Phase 1 plan, the city will spend $9.6 million to build a segment for Mount Vernon Highway west of Sandy Springs Circle to Roswell Road and extending Bluestone Road from Heritage to Mount Vernon Highway.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of