Hamblen fire district asking for $400,000 loan

At the May 15 Brown County Council meeting, the council is expected to approve a resolution that will allow the Hamblen Fire Protection District to borrow about $400,000 to buy a new fire engine.

Last week, Hamblen Fire Protection District Board member Tom Williams and Hamblen Township Volunteer Fire Assistant Chief Dave Frensemeier approached the council to talk about it. The fire district board has $300,000 it will put toward the new engine, which will cost about $620,000.

“I don’t think we’ll need all that ($400,000). I think we kind of projected that number in case we end up with a raise in material cost between now and when we order the truck,” Frensemeier said.

The loan will be for six years.

The new engine will replace a 30-year-old engine and a 22-year-old rescue truck.

“This is a truck that will take care of us for the next 25 years,” Frensemeier said.

The new truck will require only one driver and operator, which will free up another firefighter to fight a fire or do other duties on a fire scene. “As you know we’re facing short manpower these days and it (the new truck) will assist with that problem as well,” Frensemeier said.

The last time the district took out a loan it was for $240,000. That debt was for a different fire truck and will be paid off this June, Williams said.

Calculations on how this new loan will affect the tax rate in the fire district won’t be final until the loan and interest rates are finalized with a bank. Council member Darren Byrd wanted to know what the effect would be on taxes before approving it and he said he would investigate the effect between now and the May council meeting.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.