ZACHARY — The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $254,000 contract with Ferrara Fire Apparatus to build a new fire truck for the Zachary Fire Department.

Fire Chief Boyce Smith said the new unit is badly needed. “We just can’t get parts for the old one anymore.”

In a related matter, the council voted to allow the Fire Department to begin the process of replacing the fire station‘s heating and air conditioning unit.

“The drain lines are currently in the building, which is causing mold problems,” Mayor David Amrhein said. “I wouldn’t live in it.”

He said that the entire heating and air conditioning system would have to be replaced in order to address the problem.

Other items on the agenda included:

MACHOST ROAD: The council agreed to begin accepting bids for tree removal on the MacHost Road right of way.

The road connects Pride-Port Hudson and La. 64 (Main Street).

Even though the city has not secured enough funding to complete improvements on the dangerously narrow road, the mayor said, he is eager to take the first step.

“We want people to know we are serious,” Amrhein said. “We hope people will embrace this.”

HOUSE BUYS: The council voted unanimously to purchase two houses near downtown.

The mayor said that the Bank of Zachary accepted the council’s offer of $220,000 for the property at 4412 Lee St.

Donald Hunt, the owner of the house on 4424 Lee St., agreed to sell it to the city for $190,000, according to the mayor. Both properties would be paved and used as parking space for city offices.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: After hearing from Chip Mills, the Zachary Chamber of Commerce’s economic development director, the council voted to approve a resolution to join the North Capitol Regional Alliance.

The alliance is a partnership that could include Pointe Coupee and East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes. Mills said that the goal of the alliance would be to obtain a grant from Louisiana Economic Development.

Each city or municipality would pledge $20,000 in matching funds and could be awarded up to $100,000.

MOBILE HOMES: The council agreed to recommend that the Zachary Planning and Zoning Commission change the Uniform Development code on mobile homes in the city.

Mobile homes are not permitted within city limits except in existing mobile home parks.