The Greene County Board of Supervisors is considering a change to its vehicle replacement funding program for the three volunteer fire companies in order to purchase a new ladder truck for the county.
“The three fire companies are in total agreement that a ladder truck is needed,” said Monroe Supervisor David Cox, liaison to the emergency services board. “It will be shared by the three fire companies and owned by the county. More than likely it will be housed here in Standardsville, but all three companies would receive training on the operation. It will be used universally through the county.”
Cox said the replacement program was created about a half-dozen years ago and each department receives a flat fee to go toward the purchase of new equipment.
“I realize this (change) is putting pressure on future boards, but this program is working to improve our volunteer fire services,” Cox said. “Each company is willing to give up one cycle so that the money that would have been theirs to go into engines would be put toward the ladder truck and come close to paying for it.”
The proposal is to purchase the ladder truck in fiscal year 2024 and the departments would forgo the funding in fiscal years 2025-2028, returning to normal funding in fiscal year 2029.
Cox said when the current cycle is finished in fiscal year 2023 each company will have received new engines.
“It was agreed upon that this specialty apparatus is very much needed, whether it’s for the apartments in Stanardsville or the apartments and duplexes in the Ruckersville area,” Cox said.
At-Large Supervisor Dale Herring had questions about responsibility for funding maintenance for the truck, as well as training for the personnel.
“So (maintenance) will be part of the county’s budget going forward?” Herring asked.
“With a brand new ladder truck the first couple years is just general maintenance,” said Cox, who added that training costs would come from the individual departments.
Melissa Meador, director of Greene County Emergency Services, told the board she expects to have maintenance cost estimates by the Dec. 10 meeting, when the board is expected to vote on the replacement program change.
“There are some other things that need to be addressed, and the fire companies have already started talking,” Cox said. “But it’s been a unity and I’m tickled to death to see that as I’m stepping down. I encourage you all to continue to develop a working relationship with the emergency services board and have them as an active part of the government in Greene County.”