Franklin applies for grant to buy fire truck

Published 8:56 am Friday, March 4, 2011


FRANKLIN—The City Council unanimously agreed to apply for a $25,000 federal grant to help pay for a new fire truck estimated to cost $450,000.

Franklin Fire Chief Vince Holt said the new truck is needed to replace a 30-year-old truck.

“The truck is no longer serviceable,” Holt said. “It no longer passes pump tests or meets safety requirements. Engine No. 3 is so old that it has an open cab.”

With the exception of the driver and another officer, other firefighters in an open-cab truck are in jump seats exposed to the elements and risk of danger.

The Franklin Fire Department also has two pumper trucks that date back to 2003 and 1995.

Southampton County would contribute $100,000 toward the new truck. The balance would be financed at 4.25 percent over 15 years with an annual payment of $27,456.

“This is the third year trying to make this happen,” said Holt. “We’re really not saving anything by delaying.”

The chief said bids for a new truck were sent to 10 manufacturers, all of which have dealer representatives in Virginia.

“We’ll look for the best interest rates, and are hoping the cost will be below the project amount,” said Holt.

Once the order is placed, it will take eight months to a year before the vehicle is delivered.

“This will give us a tremendous amount of flexibility for the rotation of the vehicles, plus the safety feature (closed cab) for responders,” he said.