The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors held their weekly meeting on Tuesday, and equipping fire departments was the main agenda item.
Aurelia Fire Chief Deloy Bruce appeared before the Board to report that the Quick Attack Unit which had been verbally approved by the Supervisors earlier this year had been ordered and the Department will hopefully receive it in late October or early December.
Bruce said the Fire Department received $14,000 in donations at its recent Fireman's Ball, bringing the total of donations they have received to $50,000. The Supervisors had verbally approved $40,000 in assistance for the project earlier, and at Tuesday's meeting they affirmed the amount and approved authorization for the expenditure.
Meriden Fire Chief Rusty Rasmus also appeared before the Board on Tuesday and discussed his Department's need for a new Brush and Tanker Unit to replace the 1965 Dodge Straight Truck they have been using.
Rasmus said the Department had received a $22,000 Grant from the USDA to put towards the purchase of a new vehicle and they have had several fundraisers as well. They have also applied for other grants and they have some money in an account which they have been saving for another vehicle purchase. Rasmus asked the Board to consider the county providing some assistance towards the purchase of a Tanker/Truck which the Osco Tank and Truck Company in Illinois has contracted to build for them. The total cost of the truck will be $100,850.
Following some discussion, during which the Supervisors as a group bemoaned the rising cost of fire equipment and the subsequent futility of local fundraisers being able to contribute much towards replacement equipment costs.
The Supervisors agreed as a group that maintaining efficient fire department service to the citizens of all the communities in the county is a priority of the county, however, and they approved contributing $25,000 from the Rural Community Betterment Fund to the Meriden Fire Department to apply towards their purchase of a 2000 International 4800 4 x 4, with an attached new 54" x 120" x 137" 1280 gallon stainless steel round tank and accessories, from Osco Tank & Truck Sales, Inc. of Orion, Illinois. According to the contract between Osco and the MFD, the estimated time of delivery of the new equipment to the MFD will be 24 weeks after Osco receives a 10% down payment.