After months of back-and-forth, the Demorest City Council has finally voted on the purchase of a firetruck with SPLOST funds.
The council met at their regular work session Tuesday, Mar. 30 to review their options for the firetruck purchase and hear a presentation from Habersham citizen Johnny Irvin, who also serves with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Irvin attended the meeting as a citizen and taxpayer at the request of Mayor Rick Austin.
The presentation Irvin gave to the council compared the council’s two options for a new firetruck purchase, which were an E-One firetruck and a Marion firetruck. Irvin recommended the council purchase the Marion firetruck, but with a budget-concerned council, the savings difference the E-One firetruck offered outweighed the benefits the Marion truck could provide.
“Is there a difference in trucks? Well, there’s going to be a difference in trucks,” Welborn said. “But there’s also a difference in our ability to afford it.”
The council unanimously voted to purchase the E-One firetruck over the Marion firetruck. The city will save around $200,000 with the E-One firetruck, according to Councilman Jim Welborn. Councilman John Hendrix made the motion, and it was seconded by Welborn.
The motion is contingent upon the legalities of the city’s bidding process, which the city attorney did not have an answer for at the work session.
This article has been updated to clarify Irvin’s current relation to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.