Bethlehem Township (PA) to Buy New Fire Apparatus

Despite being rejected in its bid for casino money to help buy a new fire truck, Bethlehem Township officials said they will move ahead with the purchase of a new $1.5 million aerial truck for Nancy Run Fire Company.

The township applied for a $550,000 grant from the Northampton County Gaming Revenue and Economic Redevelopment Authority that was to go toward paying for the truck.

However, the authority rejected the request at its meeting last month with the majority ruling that the truck would have no direct impact on the casino in Bethlehem.

Nancy Run Chief Jamie Hauze said fire company officials will meet with the truck manufacturer this month so truck assembly could begin in time to have the new truck by May 2015.

He said because the township will put down half the purchase price it will get an $8,000 discount.

The fire company’s 1991 aerial truck requires at least $500,000 to bring into compliance with current emergency vehicle regulations, which is why Hauze said the new truck is needed.

The old truck will stay in service until the new one arrives and once the new truck is operational, Hauze said the 1991 truck would be put up for auction.

“It could end up in a third-world country. We had a 1979 [fire truck] and it ended up in Costa Rica,” he said.

Township Manager Melissa Shafer said she intends to seek other grants that could go toward the new truck, such as one through the gaming authority in Monroe County and a state fund called the Firemen’s Relief Association.

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