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S.C. county council approves $1.2M purchase of 4 new ambulances

Calhoun County officials were able to lock in the price and fund the new ambulances through a government cooperative purchasing program


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By Gene Zaleski
The Times and Democrat

CALHOUN COUNTY, S.C. — Calhoun County Council Monday unanimously approved the purchase of four new ambulances at a cost of $1.2 million.

The council approved to spending $1,150,951 for the 2023 Ford F350 Road Rescue Metromedics ambulances. Each costs about $287,737.

“There is such a lead time now on these emergency services equipment, trucks and things of that nature,” Calhoun County Administrator John McLauchlin said during council’s regularly scheduled July 10 meeting. “We really have to start thinking ahead of schedule. We have to start looking more at maintenance and our fleet of our ambulances and where we are sitting today.”

“We feel like if we don’t go ahead and try to pull the trigger on these four that are needed that the price is going to escalate even more and the delivery time will be delayed even more,” McLauchlin said.

The equipment purchase document issued by the county’s procurement manager notes on July 10 the price increase per ambulance would be $1,500. The county was able to lock in the purchase price prior to the increase.

As part of the purchase, the first year of the loan will include an interest payment of $56,271.51.

The trucks will be received in two years when financing for years 2-8 will include payments of $198,074.94 annually at an interest rate of 4.88%, McLauchlin said.

This will be accounted for over two budget periods and it will be done for the general fund in the future, McLauchlin said.

The county will finance the vehicles through Freedom Financial as part of a government contract Cooperative Purchasing Program.

McLauchlin said Freedom Financial is the same company from which the county has purchased fire trucks.

The ambulances will be stationed throughout the county.

McLauchlin said there are hopes to use a future capital project 1-cent sales tax to help add two additional ambulances perhaps in 2025.

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