• 68°

City considers ways to find funds to replace fire truck

 

NATCHEZ — City leaders are considering two programs to purchase a new fire truck to replace a 26-year-old model.

Both a Mississippi Development Authority loan and a Mississippi Department of Insurance grant program are potential means to purchase a new aerial ladder truck that Natchez Community Development Director James Johnston presented during Tuesday’s Natchez Board of Aldermen finance committee meeting.

The revolving loan program, which Johnston said he was merely investigating at this point, could provide up to $750,000 for a single project, with a 10-year maximum term for a single fire truck. The interest rate for taxable projects is 3 percent, while tax-exempt projects have a 2-percent interest rate.

For example, Johnston said, a $1,000,000 loan at a 2-percent rate for 10 years would mean monthly payments of $9,201, though he said borrowing would be lower than that since the city has other funds available to go toward the project.

In addition to the possibility of a loan, Johnston discussed a program that allocates between $50,000 and $90,000 to go toward the purchase of a fire truck. The department of insurance can only administer this grant to counties, but counties can reallocate the funds to cities, Johnston said.

Depending on which of 12 rounds the municipality applies for, it could receive $50,000, $70,000 or $90,000 per fire truck.

Johnston said he has not formally addressed the county about this matter, but he has run the idea by Adams County Board of Supervisors President Calvin Butler and Supervisor Ricky Gray.

Officials have discussed the need for a new truck over the past several months, calling the current aerial ladder truck “non-compliant.”

Just days ago, the current truck needed repairs to its jacks, Natchez Fire Chief Aaron Wesley said.

Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard said he found the sudden need for those repairs “disconcerting” and asked if the truck receives an annual inspection.

Wesley responded that the truck is inspected every time it returns to the station, and that the situation with the jacks was a mechanical issue.

Dillard then further expressed his concern.

“It’s more than a truck,” Dillard said. “It’s a life-saving piece of equipment.”

Aside from the obvious safety implications of having updated equipment, the condition of the Natchez Fire Department’s trucks also could impact its fire ratings with the Mississippi State Rating Bureau, he said. Those ratings in turn affect insurance premiums for property owners.

News

Katie’s Ladies model celebrates 102nd birthday

News

Dart: Natchez is second home to radio show producer, DJ

News

Trial delayed for Adams County murder suspect

News

One dead, 2 injured in two vehicle wreck in Vidalia

News

CPSB selects two finalists for next superintendent

Business

Atmos Energy replacing gas pipes for some Natchez residents

News

Schools to get $31 million for COVID-19

News

Man sentenced to 40 years Wednesday for killing step-daughter, injuring 3 other relatives

News

Officials working to bring commercial flights to Natchez-Adams Airport

News

Five candidates remaining for next CPSB Superintendent

Business

Furdge appointed to Natchez Convention Promotion Commission

COVID-19

Photo gallery: Clinic gives COVID-19 vaccines to inmates with mobile unit

News

Kiwanis Club giving new life to forgotten bike trail

Business

Grant money available to restaurants, bars from American Rescue Plan Act

BREAKING NEWS

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Adams County, school dismissal delayed

News

NOAA weather station off air amid onset of thunderstorms in Adams County

News

Natchez should brace for more storms Tuesday

COVID-19

Supervisors vote again not to extend Adams County mask ordinance

News

Natchez, Adams County spared storms Sunday

Business

Monday is 65 years for popular barbershop

News

Waitress says customers are like family

Business

Four Cathedral graduates make the 2021 Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 50 Under 40 list

COVID-19

COVID-19 outbreak at prison leads to uptick in Adams County cases

News

Clothing bank for veterans reopens at VFW