The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department is in need of a new pumper according to County Fire Chief Donny Green.
Green met with members of the county budget committee Thursday night to formally make a request for the funding in the 2011-12 budget
Green asked that $180,000 be budgeted to purchase a new fire pumper to replace the Midway engine which is a 1979 model. By doing this, Green said "we can take the 1975 model truck out of service at the Austin Bottom station and place the 1979 Midway truck at Austin Bottom." This station (Austin Bottom), he said has a low call volume and the 1979 truck should be adequate to "hold them over for a few more years". Green said the county is looking at major expenses if it continues to keep the 1975 truck at the Austin Bottom Station.
Meanwhile, Green is also asking for an increase in the maintenance and repair services-equipment line item of the budget from $5,000 this fiscal year to $8,000 in the new budget. Green said due to the age of the fleet of trucks, maintenance and repair expenses this year exceeded the previous year's budget in this line item. Actual expenses this year were $8,062.
Green is seeking an increase in the equipment and machinery parts line item of the budget from $17,000 this fiscal year to $44,200 next year. "We are requesting an additional $27,200 to allow for annual replacement of a portion of turnout gear and breathing cylinders to avoid a major one-time purchase in the future", said Green
Green said an increase is also needed in the utilities line item from $17,000 this year to $21,000 in the new budget. "Actual utility expenses were $18,860. We are projecting a utility rate increase in our request," he said.
Meanwhile, the county fire department plans to seek two grants for a brush truck and equipment. Green said "we plan to apply for two 5% local match grants under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. If awarded, $6,000 will be needed as a local 5% match for a brush truck and a $5,000 local 5% match for equipment.
Green said the county fire department currently has 75 volunteer firefighters on board operating out of eleven stations. Since 2001, the county fire department has been awarded $1,864,537 in federal, state, and private grants.
The budget committee has taken no action yet.