DEPUE — DePue Village Board Monday night approved a referendum for the November election for the funding of a new fire truck and equipment for the fire department.
Fire chief Steve Rauh initially spoke with the board last fall about the department’s need to replace its nearly 40-year-old pumper truck, asking whether that was something that could be put on the ballot.
At last month’s regular board meeting, Rauh presented estimates for a replacement truck similar to one purchased in 2002. The new truck, estimated at $300,000-$350,000 would have increased pumping capacity and a larger tank. Raugh said the department historically has kept its trucks for an average of 40 years so the expense, in his opinion, would be well worth it to the village.
Raugh said the fire department plans an open house for early October which could be used as an opportunity for the community to ask questions and learn more about the referendum and how it would affect residents’ taxes. A similar referendum was used for the last truck purchased. That time, a truck was paid off in about six years, four years sooner than planned.
Rauh said the department is applying for a conservation grant to purchase a pump and two nozzles for its pumper truck as well as a six-wheel ATV which could be used for search and/or rescue in brush or wooded areas. The cost would be about $11,000, half of which would be the responsibility of the department.
Rauh said although the grant would pay 50 percent of the cost, all the money would be due up front and the grant would reimburse the district.
He asked whether the village would be willing to make a short-term loan to the department to cover the up front cost, to be paid in full once the state would send reimbursement. He said he should know by August whether DePue got the grant, and the short-term loan could be paid back within 2-3 months.
Kim Shute can be reached at (815) 879-5200 Ext. 13 or email@example.com.