Lincoln Twp. to take on $550K fire truck loan

Lincoln Township agreed to a five-year loan worth $550,000 on Tuesday that would help pay for a new fire truck.

STEVENSVILLE — Lincoln Township trustees agreed to a $550,000 loan that would allow the municipality to buy a new fire truck.

At a special budget meeting Tuesday, Clerk Stacy Loar-Porter said the fire department has identified the fire truck it intends to buy with the loan.

At 2.82 percent, the township came to terms on a five-year loan with United Federal Credit Union. The first payment toward the loan will be made in 2019, Loar-Porter said.

“The new truck has all been spec’d out,” Loar-Porter said. “Everything that’s on the old truck will be moved over, so (the fire department) has a pretty slim budget on it. They did not overindulge by any means.”

Loar-Porter said the township did not receive a loan estimate from Chemical Bank.

In November, trustees agreed to unload its newest fire truck, which had become unreliable.

Fire Chief Scott Wiederwax looked into options for selling the truck that the township bought new in 2014. At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Loar-Porter said the township has been unable to sell the truck.

When the township bought the fire truck in 2014, it cost about $539,000.

In an effort to sell the fire truck, the township was recommended to contact a Tennessee fire truck distributing company.

According to Wiederwax, the distributing company would list the fire truck for sale that would likely run between $375,000 and $390,000. The company would then take a 5 percent commission from the final sale.

A less desirable option would be to sell the fire truck outright to the company in the mid to high $200,000 range.

According to Herald-Palladium archives, the township bought the fire truck thanks to a quarter-mill levy for fire department capital expenditures that voters approved in 2013.

At the time, township officials said buying the truck would not have been possible without the millage. The purchase of the truck was big for the fire department, as it was was able to replace its 1984 fire truck.

Loar-Porter said they are going to buy the new fire truck from a more familiar company, as opposed to KME – a Pennsylvania-based company that sold the now-faulty fire truck to the township in 2014.

Loar-Porter said the old truck is out of warranty, which means maintaining the truck has become more difficult.

Fire officials reported an incident in which the 2014 fire truck was unable to put out a fire last year. Firefighters were responding to a car fire along I-94 when the truck wouldn’t shift into gear. St. Joseph Township was eventually called to assist with the fire.

Royalton Township, one of several municipalities that has an automatic aid agreement with Lincoln Township, has been helping when responding to fires.

The Lincoln department has five vehicles in its fleet. The second newest vehicle is a 2005 rescue truck, which is not used in the same manner as the faulty fire truck.

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski