Excerpts from the statejournalregister.com:

Springfield aldermen are weighing whether to spend $1.2 million to buy two new fire engines before the next budget year starts in March so the city can get a reduced price. The two engines, and the refurbishment of a third engine for about $227,500, were included in a proposal for the budget that begins March 1. However, Pierce, who sells the engines the city uses will increase the price of the new rigs and the refurbishment after Jan. 31.

By putting the purchase on a fast track, the city can save $73,000, Fire Chief Allen Reyne said. Much of the fire department’s spare fleet is more than 20 years old. The last Springfield engine was purchased four years ago.

The mayor proposed $4.3 million worth of equipment upgrades across the fire, police, and public works departments, all of which would be funded through short-term loans. To pay for the engines up front, the city would float a loan from its general revenue fund until the new budget is approved. Most of the aldermen expressed support for buying the engines early.

Aldermen also forwarded ordinances for final approval to purchase two fire department staff vehicles for a total of $74,000. The money was initially budgeted last year to buy a cardiac monitor for firefighters to use on medical calls. However, Reyne said the department found out the monitor it wanted to buy could not be taken in for repairs at HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

While the department worked on finding a new type of cardiac monitor, the chief proposed switching the funding to staff vehicles, which are similar to what the Springfield police use.  In years past, many of the fire department’s staff vehicles have been sold. The newest vehicle on hand is a 2007 Ford Taurus.