22 February 2008

The Price is Right?

By now you probably know that Hillsborough Township is looking to buy a new emergency vehicle for the rescue squad. The new truck will replace the squad's 16 year old vehicle which is nearing the end of its useful service life. And this won't be just any old truck, but a state of the art machine with an estimated price tag, including equipment, of $670,000.

Does that sound like a lot of money to you? Can we put a price tag on people's lives? Isn't there someone out there that can get this thing for us wholesale? How about trying to pick one up on Craigslist.

That's exactly what the New York Times reported Cheif Curvin Wolfgang of the East Prospect, Pennsylvania Fire Company did when they needed a replacement for their 33-year-old aerial platform truck. He knew a brand new truck would cost his town $700,000 - so he googled the phrase "aerial truck for sale".

His search took him to the classified ad web site Craigslist, where he saw a listing for a 1993 Pierce aerial platform truck. The interesting thing about the truck was that it had not been used for 10 years. It had been left behind on Governor's Island in New York harbor by the U.S. Coast Guard when they turned over control of the island to the city and state of New York a decade ago.

And the best part was Chief Wolfgang was able to negotiate a sale price of just $75,000!

O.K. Maybe we won't be able to find a bargain like that for Hillsborough - and we certainly won't be able to get the kind of advanced machine that we want. I understand that.

So, here's another idea. Let's sell the old truck on eBay - you never know who might be looking for what we've got! And I'll only take a 3% commission!

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