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Ohio University to give $250,000 for new city fire truck

During the next five years, the city of Athens will receive payments totaling $250,000 from Ohio University for the city's purchase of a new fire and ladder truck.

The university responded to a City Council resolution requesting financing for the truck and will contribute five annual payments of $50,000, according to the university's website.

Because of the area's current economic downfall, City Council President Bill Bias said the gift was welcome.

"It was a very positive move," Bias said. "Both Ohio University and the city are in strained economic times, so it's hard to ignore a quarter of a million dollars."

As a part of a memorandum of understanding, OU President Roderick McDavis and Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl will assemble a group to develop a proposal of how Athens and OU can work collaboratively in the future, said Becky Watts, chief of staff to McDavis.

The group, which will consist of both city and university representatives, will complete the proposal by the end of the year, Watts said.

The group is only one instance of partnerships between Athens and OU. For example, the university's Facilities Management and the city's Engineering and Public Works also have a strong relationship, Watts said.

"Because we are so embedded in the community and we touch so many aspects of the community, there are many things that we do with the city that are informal, unwritten agreements," Watts said.

The proposal will be a way to formalize the collaboration and ensure that it continues in the future, Watts said.

Ohio University has not made any payments yet to Athens and Stephen Golding, vice president for finance and administration, will determine whether the funding for the fire truck comes from on an annual basis, said Watts.

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