News Column

Lawn Fire Co. plans to buy new tanker

August 19, 2014

By Chris Sholly, Lebanon Daily News, Pa.

Aug. 19--LAWN -- Lawn Fire Co. is looking to purchase a new tanker and hopes to use a portion of the fire tax collected by South Londonderry Township to help offset a loan. Township supervisors recently approved the proposal.

Township manager Thomas Ernharth said the new tanker would cost approximately $315,000. In addition, he said, the fire board has recommended the plan.

"We sold our old tanker for $60,000. We have that cash available," said Lawn fire Chief Jim Hess. "We've solicited South Annville Township, which is part of our coverage area, and they have contributed $7,000 over the next three years."

Hess said when the company orders the tanker, it will take a year before it is ready. That gives the fire company a year to raise the $100,000 needed for the first payment. Meanwhile, Hess said, the fire company is accumulating funds and hopes to secure between $75,000 and $80,000 before the first payment is due.

"It became an issue of maintenance, quite frankly," Hess said. "It was an 1989, and there is a service life on those. We had a viable buyer approach us, and we thought it was a more than reasonable offer. Without the $60,000 sale, I think it would have been difficult to afford a new one."

Fire company officials hope to use $25,000 from the township's fire tax fund to help fund the first payment.

Ernharth said the fire tax is a separate fund in the township budget and can be used only for fire protection purposes, such as fire equipment or maintenance. Currently, the fund has a balance of $217,000, he said.

Hess said the fire company will finance the balance of the purchase price. But officials have not yet worked out the exact terms for a bank loan.

In the meantime, the fire company does not have its own tanker. It does, however, have mutual-aid agreements with surrounding fire companies for use of their tankers should one be needed in Lawn, Hess said.


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Source: Lebanon Daily News (PA)

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