Voters to weigh in on DePue fire truck

Referendum will be on November ballot

DEPUE — DePue residents will have a say in whether or not the DePue Fire Department brings home a new fire truck.

On Monday, the village board unanimously approved an ordinance directing the county clerk to put a referendum question on the November ballot. The questions will ask whether or not to issue bonds in the total amount of $350,000 for a new fire truck and equipment for the truck.

DePue Fire Chief Steve Rauh was at Monday’s village board meeting and asked how the decision, if approved, would affect tax rates and how long it will take to pay off the truck.

While no answer was available yet on Monday, Raul asked if the village could gather that information to help educate residents at a future open house at the fire department, which is scheduled for Oct. 4.

It was mentioned when the fire department last purchased a new truck in 2002, the village was able to pay it off four years earlier than expected.

Fire department applies for grant

Rauh also reported on Monday the fire department is applying for a 50/50 conservation grant to help cover the costs of new purchases in the department.

If the DePue Fire Department is awarded the grant, they plan to replace a pump on one tanker truck, purchase new nozzles for a brush truck and add a 6-wheel ATV to their equipment.

Rauh said firefighters feel they could use the ATV to go out to brush and wooded areas for fires, and also use it to assist in removing someone who may have gotten injured in a wooded area.

Rauh said the total cost of the items is approximately $11,400.

He explained if the fire department receives the grant, they must pay the full cost of the items and will later be reimbursed for half the cost. While the fire department has enough money to cover half of the costs, they do not have enough to pay the full $11,400 up front.

Rauh asked if the village could cover one-half, while the fire department covers the other half, and then when the fire department receives the reimbursement from the grant, they will be able to give that money back to the village.

Village board members had no objections to lending the money to the fire department. They asked Rauh to let them know whether or not they received the grant, and it would be placed on the agenda to approve lending the money.

Rauh said he hopes to know by the middle of August on whether or not the department was awarded the grant. He figured the reimbursement would most likely come back in September or October.

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