Excerpts from the daily-chronicle.com:

The Sycamore Fire Department has secured most of the money it needs to purchase a half-million-dollar fire engine but wants permission from the city council to find a better deal.

The fire department will seek approval from the council to enter into a cooperative purchasing agreement to get the best possible deal on a replacement fire engine. The department wants to replace its 30-year-old Engine 4 with a newer truck that can hold 3,000 gallons as opposed to the current truck’s 2,000-gallon capacity. The agreement would allow the department to work with government agencies in other states that specialize in government contract proposals to secure more competitive pricing.

The department estimates a new truck to cost $550,000, but the final number could be lower should the department seek outside help. A recently purchased ambulance was $5,000 less because it was bought through a purchasing agreement with a Chicago metro-wide cooperative.

Because of the amount of water on board, Engine 4, is primarily used for fires in rural areas that lack access to fire hydrants. Each of the department’s other two engines carry 1,000 gallons. The rural areas in DeKalb County have grown since 1989, and the department needs a reliable truck that can hold more water.

At the top of the fire department’s list is a Rosenbauer pumper-tender, and it’s seeking approval from the city council to enter an agreement with one of two cooperatives who contract with Rosenbauer America; the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s HGACBuy, a Texas-based cooperative, and Sourcewell, a Minnesota-based cooperative.

The city of Sycamore and the Sycamore Fire Protection District will provide $365,000 of the projected $500,000 needed for the engine. The rest will come from the sale of Engine 4 and current and future Sycamore Fire Department capital allowances.