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  1. #1
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    Default AFG Apparatus grant

    A fellow fire department just got the news they recieved a $65,000 AFG vehicle grant. The chief asked me a question and I wasn't positive of the answer to I thought I would float it pass the experts here. How would they handle the requirement to get 3 bids. Would sending minium requirements ( tank, size, pump size, engine, etc) to 3 or more apparatus dealers and having the dealers send information back about apparatus they have available that meets that standards sufficient?


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    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    A fellow fire department just got the news they recieved a $65,000 AFG vehicle grant. The chief asked me a question and I wasn't positive of the answer to I thought I would float it pass the experts here. How would they handle the requirement to get 3 bids. Would sending minium requirements ( tank, size, pump size, engine, etc) to 3 or more apparatus dealers and having the dealers send information back about apparatus they have available that meets that standards sufficient?
    I would suggest that you form a "truck committee and develop a "bid specifications sheet". Then post an ad in classifieds of local newspaper and or call some dealers and tell them you are looking for a truck and ask them if they want to bid.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    I assume they're looking at a brush truck, which should be pretty simple.

    When we've done apparatus, we've layed it out pretty simple. We want this chassis, this engine, these options on the chassis. We want xxx gallon tank and this model, or comparable, pump.

    If they have any options they want to consider, have them quoted as options. That gives the price for each and allows some opportunity to mix and match options depending on the funding.

    I also did some homework before we went to sending bid/quote specs. I contacted several builders and the ones that would work with me and talk with me about "how much would a truck like (enter description) cost me from you guys?" or find a truck on their new deliveries page that fits the bill and ask how much it'd cost today and get a copy of the specs. Or do it with several trucks on their new deliveries.

    Most companies we dealt with were more than happy to help out with information. Some got aggrevated when we awarded the truck, but it wasn't a big deal with most as they understand how the system works.

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    I did leave out one important part of information to which I'm very sorry. The grant is for a USED pumper. If it was for new then yes we would know how to fullfill the grants bid requirements but for a used apparatus were not as sure. Again very sorry for leaving the used pumper part out lol

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    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    I did leave out one important part of information to which I'm very sorry. The grant is for a USED pumper. If it was for new then yes we would know how to fullfill the grants bid requirements but for a used apparatus were not as sure. Again very sorry for leaving the used pumper part out lol
    The Federal Procurement guidlines require that:

    " The grantee must follow its established procurement processes when purchasing vehicles, equipment, and services with AFG funds. If the grantee has no established procedures, it should obtain at least two quotes/bids for the items being procured and document the process used in the grant files."

    So calling or looking online at available used apparatus ( that meets the specifications you stated in the grant) and then asking for a written formal quote from them, will satisfy that requirement. Best bet, consult a local city government attorney if in doubt.
    Last edited by ktb9780; 01-02-2011 at 09:54 AM.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Ok great thanks Kurt.

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    Default Work Smarter, not harder....

    Form an apparatus committee and work on development of a Request for Proposal or Request for Bid's for the apparatus you wish to purchase.
    Within the RFP/RFB you will spell out the rules of submittal, including time line, how to submit, where to mail, who to call if they have questions etc.

    The RFP is your "wish list" and roadmap for the Mfg's to develop their specifications to best meet your RFP/RFB.

    They are easy to write, just make sure you include language about meeting or exceeding the most current NFPA 1901 standard.

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    Make you a basic spec sheet - max length /height / mileage/age /
    minimun / gpm / tank size
    basic have tos such as - cab seating/ poly tank /body material /
    Then your wants - such as generator/ lighting /color
    You may want to include such things as 3rd party pump test/ current DOT inspection etc
    Go to firetec and look up the "selling a truck" check list - that will get you started.
    The best thing to remember about buying a used truck is to find a truck that fits your needs , dont alter your needs to fit the truck.
    ?

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    Ok guys, I have another question for you... When our grant was written, We stated that we were requesting funds for a tanker with a cap. of at least 2500 gal, and it must include some form of supplemental braking system (i.e. jake brake, retarder). Now, it seems that we may not have enough funds to fully cover a truck with that capacity. Can we go with a truck that has a smaller tank or are we bound to what has been specified in the request?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman22 View Post
    Ok guys, I have another question for you... When our grant was written, We stated that we were requesting funds for a tanker with a cap. of at least 2500 gal, and it must include some form of supplemental braking system (i.e. jake brake, retarder). Now, it seems that we may not have enough funds to fully cover a truck with that capacity. Can we go with a truck that has a smaller tank or are we bound to what has been specified in the request?
    For the most part you must complete the grant as written. Since the AFG recognizes a tanker is in excess of 1,000 gallons there could be some leeway. The only one that can answer this question for sure is your FPS.

    What are you basing your conclusion that there will not be enough funds? Bids have been returned, general quotes etc.

  11. #11
    Forum Member McMechen VFD's Avatar
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    Default question for the experts

    chief ask me today if we want to go with a custom cab can we borrow the funds to do so. he was told by a mfg that we could not barrow the funds to upgrade this truck. looking over the guidance i do not see why we could not fund anything over our match is that correct?
    John & Sheila
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    jdavis@mcmechenvfd.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmechenvfd View Post
    chief ask me today if we want to go with a custom cab can we borrow the funds to do so. he was told by a mfg that we could not barrow the funds to upgrade this truck. looking over the guidance i do not see why we could not fund anything over our match is that correct?
    John what I would be worried about is that you made an arguement for the truck based upon "my poor department, no revenue, poor credit risk and unable to borrow funding for a commercial loan". If you go and borrow any substantial amount, you would be destroying that arguement and it could be construed by someone that you were not quite as needy as you professed to be.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  13. #13
    Forum Member McMechen VFD's Avatar
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    Default humm

    so you would say not to any loan we are just looking at a small amount to upgrade the truck. we had the monies set aside however we had some problems at the department (Roof Repair) that really hurt us, we have our match and a little extra
    John & Sheila
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmechenvfd View Post
    chief ask me today if we want to go with a custom cab can we borrow the funds to do so. he was told by a mfg that we could not barrow the funds to upgrade this truck. looking over the guidance i do not see why we could not fund anything over our match is that correct?
    The thing to remember is the grant needs to be completed as written. Did you specify in the grant/narrative that you would be purchasing a commercial style apparatus or was it in general terms such as 4 door cab or 6 man cab etc.?

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    Forum Member McMechen VFD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    The thing to remember is the grant needs to be completed as written. Did you specify in the grant/narrative that you would be purchasing a commercial style apparatus or was it in general terms such as 4 door cab or 6 man cab etc.?
    we had a 4 door cab / 6 man cab

    i know we can not have a lean on the grant truck but we were thinking of using something else. the custom truck actually fits on our streets better than a commercial style apparatus.
    John & Sheila
    McMechen Volunteer Fire Department
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    www.mcmechenvfd.com
    jdavis@mcmechenvfd.com

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmechenvfd View Post
    we had a 4 door cab / 6 man cab

    i know we can not have a lean on the grant truck but we were thinking of using something else. the custom truck actually fits on our streets better than a commercial style apparatus.
    Be prepared ot discuss what changed allowng the borrowing power. If you can satisfy that, I see no problem.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Actually AFG doesn't care about how the local match is paid, and if they ever get technical enough to check then they'll say that a grant funded item can't be used as collateral in a loan, which is where some station grant folks are having problems. Otherwise it's been done for a long time in AFG because some can't cash match even a few thousand bucks. Sometimes the local bank or even the vendor will float a non-collateral loan where nothing is under lien. After all they're getting 90-95% of the project in cash from the feds, so not like it's a huge amount left over.

  18. #18
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    Talking

    The cost difference in a commercial chassis, 4 door 6 seat to a custom will be at a minimum 40-50 k more. If you can afford it it makes sense. But why did you not ask for that in your original grant app if thats what you needed ? Now that you have an award you decide that it would be nice to have a much more expensive custom chassis water hauler. Needs versus wants is the question.

    Now as a grant reviewer the question would come to my mind that maybe you would not have gotten funded at the higher price of asking for a custom , so you chose to go with the lower cost commercial chassis option in your application to improve the cost benefit ratio. If you have the ability to add that much additional funding as an over match , then maybe the " need really wasn't there" for federal funding.

    No saying you don't need a new tanker at all , but these are thoughts that will come up when the grants specialist reviews your request.
    Another question would be ,Do you really need a 6 seat water supply apparttus?
    They are not supposed to be lumbering oversized crew haulers, but a means of moving water efficiently over distances.

    Just my thoughts on the question.

  19. #19
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    Overall commercials serve their purpose, but most customs last longer due to being beefier overall so they are worth the extra cost in most cases.

    Knowing John's area, minimal staffing, need to bring as many as possible to the call at one time, need more seats. 4dr on all rural apparatus is my normal recommendation. And you're right, wouldn't have been funded going after a custom for cost reasons, right in the PG on that subject.

    And as we've talked about, overmatching can help. We have someone that picked up a rescue pumper award a couple of weeks ago matching about 50% on the nearly $500k project. I'm not one to recommend that way of doing things in apps, more go after the minimum and upgrade once the award is funded, but it's a tomatoe/tomahto thing.

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