Negley gunning for another state fire grant

NEGLEY – The local volunteer fire department is hoping for another state grant to purchase some new equipment.

Negley Fire Chief Gary Banicki told Middleton Township trustees on Monday the chances of being awarded a grant two years straight is slim, but he’s optimistic it could happen again.

The department was awarded $10,000 in the form of a State Fire Marshal grant last year and the money went toward the purchase of new turnout gear.

Bev Shell, president of the Negley Fire Association, said new air packs and a new computer would be purchased with grant money awarded this year, if the department is approved for the funding.

“The state is pushing computers a whole bunch for the new fire programs … We need you guys to stand behind us on that like you did last year,” she told trustees.

Because the privately run department is on a $100,000 annual contract with the township for fire services trustees receive the grant funding first and then distribute it to the department.

Trustees Nancy Michaels and Eldena Gearhart approved a motion to support applying for the fire marshal grant. Trustee Timothy Pancake was absent from the meeting due to work.

Michaels and Gearhart also approved a $100,000 contract with the department for fire services for 2013.

During Banicki’s report to the board he said the department responded to three structure fires between October and December of 2012. A majority of the calls were to provide mutual aid services to other areas, he added.

He also said the station’s new fire truck is now fully equipped with the necessary rescue services. The roughly $170,000 Ford F-550 extended cab 2012 model is paid in full and arrived at the station within the last month. It was purchased through Sutphen last year.

Fiscal Officer Bob Chapman said the department saved money for the new truck for about six years. The department raises money by hosting fund raisers and putting a portion of the contract money into a CD each year.

Some levy funding was also put toward the new truck, he said.

Banicki said the truck is specially designed to access remote driveways-a problem the department has faced in the past.

On another matter, Shell said an upcoming Night at the Races event at the station should generate a few thousand dollars for the department.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 16 and the public is invited to bet on horse races that will be shown on film.

Banicki said the department raised about $2,500 at last year’s event.

“People just have a good time,” Shell said.

Betting on one horse is $10, and food is included in the cost, she said.

Trustees then approved:

– A cooperative purchasing agreement with the state department of administrative services.

– Applying for an advance on the first half of real estate taxes.

– Paying bills in the amount of $8,129.76.