The Moncton Fire Department had to ask city council for an extra $110,000 this week to pay for a new fire truck it has on order.

Deputy Fire Chief Don McCabe said the floundering Canadian dollar is the main reason for the unexpected increased cost.

"Most of the custom truck manufacturers are all based out of the United States," he said.

On February 15, Moncton City Council was asked to vote on a change to a request for proposals for the latest model of a custom single axle fire truck.

The original budget for the new truck was $750,000 Canadian plus HST, which was the established cost in 2014, when the Canadian dollar was almost on par with the American greenback.

"When it comes time to put in the (cost to the) capital budget, we'd base it on what is going on then. So if the dollar is going down we'd try to guess the best we could, but basically we are at the mercy of the fluctuating dollar," said McCabe.

According to the city, the new cost for the truck will be $821,487.34 Canadian plus H.S.T.

'Basically we are at the mercy of the fluctuating dollar.' - Moncton Deputy Fire Chief Don McCabe

But McCabe points out that tax is also set to go from 13 per cent  to 15 per cent on July 1, which is the second reason the fire department asked for the extra money to cover the unexpected extra cost.

Council voted in favour to increase the amount it had originally budgeted.

The extra funds to cover the shortfall will come from the city's general capital reserve fund.

McCabe says the department should have the vehicle before the end of the year.

Most equipment comes from U.S.

Moncton is not alone.

Hampton just purchased a platform truck from Wisconson at a cost of about $1.4 million.


Most fire departments purchase equipment from the United States. (Cassie Williams/CBC)

Fire Chief Roger Breau said about 90 per cent of fire-fighting vehicles and equipment comes from the states, and the town watched the Canadian dollar bounce up and down before it finally made its purchase.

"It did make a difference," said Breau. "It definitely is a concern."

But Breau said it will now be five years before the town needs another new vehicle. 

According to City of Fredericton spokesperson Alicia Bartlett, the fluctuation in the dollar hasn't caused the capital as much of a problem when purchasing fire equipment, and the city doesn't anticipate it will in the future.