COLUMBIANA Officials to prepare specs, locate funding for firetruck

Council approved a one-year contract for mutual aid fire protection with Fairfield Township.
COLUMBIANA -- City officials will begin a study of specifications and possible financing sources for the purchase of a new firetruck.
Council approved two motions Tuesday night requested by Councilman Don Leonard, who said the fire department has been asking for a new firetruck for two years and one is needed as soon as possible.
He asked council to approve motions directing city officials to prepare specifications for a firetruck and to explore possible funding sources.
He said it would take up to one year to take delivery of a firetruck after funding is secured and bids awarded.
Uncertainties: Mayor Lowell Schloneger said he does not favor purchasing a firetruck early in the year because there are too many unknown variables in the budget to be certain funds would be available.
He cited the outcome of city employee negotiations and local government fund distributions as two of those variables.
Finance Director Mary Louise Dicken said there is $100,000 -- with $50,000 collected in each of the past two years -- set aside from the general fund for the firetruck. She said she was able to set aside the money because more was collected in estate taxes than anticipated.
She estimated the cost of a new firetruck at $300,000 or more.
Mutual aid: Council also approved a one-year mutual aid fire protection agreement with Fairfield Township. The city will pay Fairfield firefighters who respond to fires in the city limits $19.94 per hour or each part of an hour they are in service. She said they will be paid for a minimum of two hours of service.
The fire contract must be renewed annually, Dicken said. Last year the city paid about $19.50 per hour. All other parts of the contract remain unchanged from the previous year, she said.

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