Excerpts from the daily-journal.com:

Officials with the Kankakee Fire Department say they are in dire need of a new pumper, but the department will have to wait a few months to purchase the new truck.

Efforts to approve the immediate purchase of a new pumper for $557,787 fell short of the necessary vote at the Kankakee City Council meeting on Tuesday. Normally, purchases of more than $20,000 need to go out for bid by city ordinance, but they can also be approved by a vote of two-thirds of the council members. After much debate among council members and a presentation by Fire Chief Damon Schuldt, the measure failed by an 8-6 vote, which is 57 percent.

The department was using a procurement service cooperative that helps to make government purchases more efficient. The chief said the coop does some of the legwork that a bidding process would do.

Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong said there are exceptions to the bidding process that are allowed with the two-thirds vote, and the fire department pumper truck purchase falls into that category.

Schuldt said the current truck is a 2005 model and has more than 140,000 miles. It required a $20,000 repair earlier this year, is in need of a radiator repair and is leaking oil.

Initially, the motion was for the purchase of the new pumper and also have the current truck sent back to the manufacturer to be refurbished for an additional $299,000. The refurbishment would take at least 18 months due to a backlog, and payment would be made at that time.

The motion was amended to just vote on the purchase of a new truck and consider the refurbishment at a later time. With the vote failing, the purchase of the new truck will now have to go out for bid. No time frame for that process was discussed.