Perkasie (PA) Seeks Funds for New Fire Apparatus

The Perkasie Fire Co. is hoping the borough and neighboring East Rockhill will raise their fire taxes so it can buy a $750,000 fire truck in 2015.

Representatives from the fire department attended a recent Perkasie council meeting to discuss their financial need, saying the department will be out of money in three years without any help, namely, a 1-mill increase from both municipalities.

“Fire company expenses continue to increase, but income remains flat,” said Tricia Welborn of Volunteer Financial Services, a firm that has been working with the Perkasie Fire Co. for about a decade. “We know where (the income) is coming from; it’s been the same for years and years and years.”

This year, the fire department is expected to have revenues about $31,000 lower than its expenses, she said.

But the fire department is scheduled to buy a new pumper truck in 2015, to replace one that was purchased in 1989. That falls a few years past the department’s 20-year truck replacement plan.

The truck is estimated to cost $750,000. The fire department would make a $150,000 down payment from its own funds, she said.

Another $150,000 would come from a low-interest Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency loan. The remaining $450,000 would be paid for through a bank loan.

The 15-year PEMA loan would carry a 2 percent interest rate, with annual payment of about $11,000.

Welborn estimated that the five-year bank loan would carry a 5.5 percent interest rate, though she noted rates are currently lower than this. That loan would carry a $105,000 annual payment.

The bank loan would only be for five years since the department is scheduled to replace another firetruck in 2020, she said.

Perkasie officials have not yet decided how they will address the fire department’s financial woes.

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