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Van Buren Commission Approves Federal Money For VFD Maintenance

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Van Buren Commission Approves Federal Money For VFD Maintenance

The Van Buren County Commission has approved about $50,000 to help the county’s volunteer fire departments with maintenance efforts.

Mayor Greg Wilson asked the commission Tuesday night to use some of its remaining ARP funding of $128,000. Wilson said one example of need was the Fall Creek Falls Department that dished out over $6,000 for a repair.

“We’ve got one or two departments that if there is a major blow up on one of their vehicles, they’re pretty much out of business,” Wilson said. “You don’t go out or fix a large truck diesel truck like that on any of those and think it’s going to be minimum dollars.”

Wilson said volunteer fire departments do have fundraisers, but sometimes it is not enough. Wilson said the volunteers need the funds to keep the county safe.

“When you make a call to 911, you got a fire at home or a brush fire or something that is close threatening your property, who are you going to call?” Wilson said. “It’s not the Ghostbusters. It’s going to be you local volunteer fire departments.”

Van Buren County has five fire departments that are all volunteer. Wilson said the money will be placed in the local purpose tax line item for them to use for things such as building or vehicle repairs.

“The local purpose tax was voted in like 1988,” Wilson said. “It’s 10 cents. It can not be changed. That’s not a fund anymore. If you do it, it’s going to be done through the general fund or create a rural fire department fund, but regardless, their insurance we pay is $50,499 per year and that comes out of that local purpose fund. (…) So I would like to take that exact amount to go into the local purpose tax fund to pay for their insurance that covers their buildings, equipment, vehicles.”

The commission voted in favor unanimously Tuesday. In other business, commissioners approved leasing two copiers/printers for 60 months at $450 a month. The equipment would be used by the Sheriff’s Department.

The commission also approved the purchase of a finger print scanner machine for $27,000 for the Sheriff’s Department.


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