Perryville needs more money to replace fire equipment

Published 7:53 am Monday, December 11, 2017

The city of Perryville is in need of $21,500 next year to help cover the cost of replacing the self-contained breathing apparatus at the Perryville Fire Department.

The department received a $21,300 grant earlier this year. An estimated $46,000 will be needed to replace six sets, which set to expire in 2018.

Fire Chief Anthony Young said he has applied for other grants; he is still waiting on one for around $3,200 to come back, but he feels “fairly confident” in it.

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“That gives us about $24,500 toward the purchase of SCBAs … Those are rough numbers,” Young said. “We have generated about 53 percent of what these cost. So be thinking about it. We don’t have to do this tonight. We don’t have to make arrangements, even, in January. But the city needs to be thinking about what we’re going to do for the balance.

“I have, at this point, exhausted every option that I have.”

Young said the SCBAs were purchased about 15 years ago, using a fully-funded grant. But, that was not long after 9/11, he said, and more grant money was available for emergency services. Back then, he said, there was about $1 billion in funding for the fire-related grants; this year there was about $300 million in funding for fire-related grants.

“We got half now and that money is drying up more and more every year. It’s not out there like it used to be,” Young said.

He said the department really could use more than six SCBAs, but that’s the bare minimum that is needed.

“I would like to have more — that’s as low as I can go,” Young said.

The SCBAs, he said, are an “investment of about $1,400 a year.”

The council also:

• Approved a grant request from Young to purchase new radios. The city has to pay $4,600 up front and will be reimbursed the remaining $2,300. The other $2,300 will be paid for out of the state aid funding the department receives.

• Discussed creating a committee of council members to discuss drafting a historical ordinance for the city.

• Discussed creating a committee of council members and community volunteers to discuss rezoning the city and adapting the future use planning map of Perryville.