Greenwood council OK’s ARPA spending for fire appartus, cameras

Greenwood’s city council unanimously approved using nearly $426,000 in federal relief funds to help pay for fire trucks and security cameras.

City council members voted 9-0 Monday night to use $314,814 of $425,943 in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, to pay for a vendor surcharge on a fire engine and a ladder truck.

City officials ordered a ladder truck and an engine for the Greenwood Fire Department in 2021. The equipment was initially set to be delivered within 12 months of purchasing, however, city officials were contacted earlier this year by the seller, who indicated it was “no longer economically feasible” for them to build the trucks at the price the city contracted them to build at in 2021, city controller Greg Wright said last month.

If the city wanted them to be built anytime soon, then they would have to pay a surcharge. The surcharge was driven by supply chain complications, he said.

Officials did reach out to some of the company’s competitors to see what it would take to get the ladder truck and engine through them. The pricing options presented were higher than the city’s current contract, and the minimum time for delivery would be at least three years from now, Wright said.

They also discussed the situation with the city’s legal department, who ultimately said the city would need to agree to the surcharge to get the vehicles on time.

The remaining $111,129 in funds would be used to purchase new security cameras for the Greenwood Fieldhouse parking garage, and replace cameras at the Indy South Greenwood Airport and the Greenwood Police Department Training Center.

Through the city’s agreements with the developer of the fieldhouse parking garage, the developer has already agreed to give $120,000 to pay for security cameras. However, city officials are looking at a new system called Avigilon that would cost more, Wright said.

For the airport, the city is planning to upgrade the facility’s current system and add cameras to cover additional areas. For the training center, the cameras are aging and most cameras at the training center have had system issues recently, he said.

Several nearby school systems are already using Avigilon, and if officials determined it met the city’s needs, both the fire and police chiefs would be able to have access to the schools’ camera systems in an emergency.

Additionally, all of the equipment for the new system is made in the United States. All of the current cameras are made in China, and there are security concerns about accessibility, he said.

If officials like the new Avigilon system, then they will come back to request more money to expand its usage across the city, replacing the current cameras, Wright said.