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Local Fire Authority Could Seek Funds For New Trucks

This story is courtesy of the Mason County Press.  The Mason County Rural Fire Authority plans to ask tax payers for a .5 mill increase to replace 13 of its trucks that it purchased 20 years ago in the August election, including seven 1998 pumpers and six 2000 tankers. 

Chuck Keller, chairman of the rural fire authority, recently sent a letter to the municipalities that represent the departments. Keller said refurbishing the trucks will cost an estimated $117,500 while replacing the equipment would cost $325,000 per pumper truck with an estimated trade-in value of $25,000 to $50,000 per truck.

“Our options therefore were to refurbish the trucks at a cost of $125,000 to $130,000 with no warranty and aging chassis with the possibility that some or all might need to be replaced in less than 10 years or to purchase new trucks with the life expectancy of 20 years,” Keller said. “It was a ‘no-brainer’ for the board: attempt to purchase new trucks with the funding to come from voters within the authority.”

Keller said based on a home valued at $100,000, the increase would cost $25 annually. Keller said the authority will seek a renewal of its 10 year 1 mill operating revenue.

“Historically the authority has been very prudent financially,” Keller said. “Roughly six years ago the authority was able to refinance $674,000 in debt with West Shore Bank with a reduced interest rate of 2.74%. We paid down $300,000 in principle and by year end 2015 the authority will be debt free.

“If the voters do approve our request on Aug. 2, we will have this fund to cover the larger equipment purchases other than trucks. Each department has gone above and beyond to stay within their budgets each year. The departments regularly complete equipment/fire barn repairs on their own without having to hire outside vendors to complete.”

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Apartment Fire In Scottville

According to the Mason County Press a fire was extinguished at the Reinberg Avenue Apartments.  The apartments are located at, 103 N. Reinberg Avenue in Scottville.  Both the Scottville and Custer fire departments responded to the structural fire around 10:30 pm Sunday night.  Other law enforcement arrived shortly after to help evacuate the residents of the apartments.

According to Scottville Fire Chief, Dale Larr, the fire seemed to start when a ceiling fan dropped down onto a rug in the bathroom.  There was a small fire with smoke spreading through out the building.  Firefighters used a high-pressure fan to remove any smoke from the building.

Scottville Fire Department, Custer Fire Department, Scottville Police Department, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police and Life EMS ambulance were the emergency teams to respond to the scene.

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New Year's Eve Drive Safe Drive Sober Will Return This Year

If you and your friends and family are planning on having a festive New Year’s Eve in and around the Ludington area, there is no need to worry about transportation home if the celebration gets a little too festive.  Since 2003, the New Year’s Eve Drive Safe Drive Sober effort has offered nearly 9,000 rides and towed almost 150 cars, all for free and this year it is back again.

Mason County law enforcement joined with Ludington Mass Transportation, local businesses and national organizations to help people get home safe after a night out.

This year there are again many local sponsors of the event that include local business and organizations helping to fund the service.

This year the effort will take passengers and cars to the City of Ludington north to the intersection of Lakeshore Drive and M-116 in Hamlin Township and Pere Marquette Township, east to Scottville, from Hansen Road south to Conrad Road.

If you would like to take advantage of this free service please call, L.M.T.A. at 231-845-6218 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. and then from 8 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. to schedule your ride.  The L.M.T.A. buses will begin picking up riders at 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 31 and continue throughout the evening until 4 a.m. Friday, January 1, 2016.

WMOM is a proud participating sponsor of the New Year’s Eve Drive Safe Drive Sober effort.

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