Applying to the USDA for a grant to purchase a fire Engine

Regarding my previous article below, the USDA Grant for a Fire engine was discussed

Stacy Tebo specified that we had secured the Brush Truck through the USDA and that our portion of the contribution was paid in September.  She reiterated the information provided in the below article and said we have a very good chance of securing this Grant but  we were invited to submit our application to be approved.   She also mentioned that the USDA assisted us with two patrol cars and the quick response vehicles and this is the same type of grant as we acquired equipment previously

She stated to Walter McKenzies inquiry that she is only requesting the Council apply for the grant.  There is no guarantee as to the amount we will receive.  Adds have been published and a copy of the advertisement in the Jasper News will be required to be sent to the USDA.

Currently because of the partial shutdown, the USDA is shut down and there is no idea when the shutdown will end.  That means there is no idea what the loan information will be on our contribution but it will be somewhere over $10,000 a year.

Councilor Miller added that because of our request under the grant, it would be prudent to consider signing the contract with Hamilton County so that we have a source of funds.  We have always relied on money from the County and if we do not have it the money will have to come from the General Fund.  We do not have additional funds.

Stacy Tebo mentioned also that our Pumper is very old and that had it been only 10 years old or newer we would have received points to go to a class 4 rating saving on insurance.  Usually in insurance rating classes 1-3 promulgate the lowest costs to consumers; a Class 4-6 is the next classification and a 7-8 the subsequent class and there are separate classifications for Classes 9 or 10.  There is no rate reduction whether the class is a 4 or a 5..

Various times we have indicated another source of revenue for the Town relating to the Fire Department which statutorily it could only be used for Fire only.   See article on the Statutory requirements below..  That is charging an assessments ONLY on vacant lots.  There has been no incentive under code enforcement to have property owners repair or replace property which is dilapidated since they probably pay taxes less than $10.00 a year if that.  Joe and I did not discuss charging everyone a fire assessment only these vacant and unoccupied properties.

Joe has mentioned an Fire assessment or Fire Department Sucharge since 2013,  The. Two options are: There are 477 parcels of land in White Springs which would generate $47,700 if each would be charged an assessment of $100.00 each.  The alternative is to increase the millage rate by .003 per $1,000 of property values.  Based upon $15,272,047.59 in approximate property values for the town as a whole this would generate $45,816.  This along with signing the Fire Agreement with Hamilton County would pay for our portion of the fire engine instead of taking out a loan and being charged interest as well.  It would essentially cause property owners to do something with vacant land and properties and it would bring additional money into the Fire Department.  Yet I do not believe we have a true Fire Department and the ISO, not the county, requires 4 firefighters to go to a fire call.


The motion to apply for the grant was passed by a 4/0 vote.

Town to apply for a USDA Rural Development Grant for a new Fire Engine

Note if special assessments are made a special benefit must be derived. Fire Okay ; Law Enforcement Not Okay

Karin for the blog

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