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Whitehall Commissioners begin fund-raising efforts for new fire truck

By Tom De Martini, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 09:23:44 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 03 2014 09:44:38 PM CST
Whitehall Commissiners

The current aerial fire truck that's in service at the Whitehall Township Volunteer Fire Department is 20 years old and costs $30,000 in annual upkeep, according to the township's Board of Commissioners.

So, it's time for the township to start kicking the tires and shopping for a new one -- even if the price tag is approximately $950,000.

Whitehall Township's Board of Commissioners, during Monday night's work session, discussed preliminary steps to start fund-raising for a new aerial fire truck, starting with a $1,000 donation from commissioner Gerard Palagonia to kick-start a campaign targeting local businesses.

"We'll have enough to start with that," he said. "The township should be able to afford some stamps and letters to help us out. We're going to send at least a few thousand letters out to local businesses. Any money that we make can go to the fire truck"

Commissioners will vote next Monday night to appoint a sub-committee to pursue fund-raising for a new aerial fire truck.

Commissioners said they are likely to form a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt status fund for the proposed purchase of the truck.

The township can also apply for a state Neighborhood Assistance Program grant that could raise up to $100,000. The deadline for that application is April 30.

Commission President, Linda Snyder, told Palagonia that all financial transactions concerning fire truck fund-raising need to be above board and done accurately.

In other business, commissioners will vote next Monday on a proposed resolution to approve the cost-of-living adjustment for recipients of the police pension fund by 1.3 percent.

The board will also consider setting a 5 percent contribution for current police officers into the pension plan.