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City Council: Officials explore loans to fund new fire truck

Athens City Council members could purchase a $1.03 million fire ladder truck if they vote to pass two ordinances introduced at last night’s meeting.

The first ordinance proposed at the meeting would allow city officials to take out a Bond Appreciation Loan of up to $1 million to put toward the purchase of the new truck, said Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht.

The loan would need to be paid within 10 years or it would turn into a bond, Hecht said.

City officials needed to push forward with the purchase because the $1.03 million price was close to its expiration date, Hecht said. If the quote expires, the total amount of the truck would increase by about $50,000, she added.

“(City officials have) decided we do need this and we are willing to take the next step,” Hecht said.

Although they could borrow up to $1 million, Council members are still uncertain how much they will actually borrow, Hecht said.

Currently, the city has saved $640,000 for the purchase of the truck but plans to spend only part of it for the initial purchase, said Sherry Coon, D-2nd Ward.

The rest will be reserved and used for future payments, she added.

The second ordinance proposed at the meeting would allow the service-safety director to enter into a contract with the Sutphen Corporation to purchase the new truck.

City officials are working toward passing the two ordinances by the end of May, Hecht said. By that time, members should know how much they would need to borrow, she added.

Council members said they are uncertain which bank they will borrow from, but plan to take various bids, she said. Council usually borrows from Hocking Valley Bank, she added.


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