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Piedmont (Calif.) to Get State-of-the-Art Ambulance

PIEDMONT, Calif. -- Piedmont will get a new, up-to-date fire engine and a state-of-the-art ambulance with approval by the City Council this week authorizing an additional $28,000 to purchase the equipment.

In June, the City Council approved $595,000 from the equipment replacement fund for the two items. Fire Chief Ed Tubbs explained the additional cost was due to upgraded exhaust systems and safety features required by the California Air Resources Board, Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency. The units would replace two aging pieces of equipment, which the department will try to sell to recoup some of the cost.

Tubbs said maintenance costs rise on older pieces of equipment and parts are sometimes difficult to obtain. Fifty percent of the cost would be paid up front, the balance upon delivery.

The council was less supportive of a request for $16,920 to pay for investigation of two 1,000-gallon city underground storage tanks. Public Works Director Chester Nakahara said Alameda County Environmental Health is requesting the tanks and surrounding soil be examined for possible contaminants.

Council consensus was that the contract with consultants Aqua Science Engineers needed to be clarified and "tightened" so as not to leave the city open to cost overruns.

Nakahara pointed out that any cost for examination and/or mitigation would be reimbursed by the state Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund.

"This is an absurd demand from the environmental bureaucracy," resident George Childs said.

Recreation Director Mark Delventhal reported to the council that the community pool has sold 445 swim passes, but that a robust marketing campaign is being waged to sell more passes to families in neighboring communities like Montclair and Temescal districts.

Some income estimates have fallen short in the categories of seasonal or senior passes and lessons, he said. The pool took in $284,453 in revenue as of Sept. 15, operating since July 1. Revenue was estimated at $429,250.

"We have a way to go," Delventhal said.

The council also accepted the preliminary report of the audit subcommittee formed to review the facts leading to the bailout of the Piedmont Hills underground utility district.

The panel met seven times in public sessions to detail its findings and suggest measures to prevent similar problems in the future.

The subcommittee may reconvene or be reformed at a future date after litigation is settled between the city and two engineering firms that worked on Piedmont Hills.



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