The Storm Lake Fire Department hopes the third time is a charm as it seeks a federal grant in order to purchase a new pumper fire truck.
The Storm Lake City Council approved a grant application to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program administered by FEMA. This is the third time the city has submitted a grant through this program.
The total cost for a new truck is estimated at $273,000. If approved, the federal grant would cover 90 percent of that, or $245,700.
In a report to the city council, Public Safety Director Mark Prosser noted the age of the fire department's 1969 pumper truck, Engine 74.
"The truck is not designed to transport enough firefighters to appropriately attack a fire scene and almost all of the equipment on the vehicle is outdated," Prosser said.
The city's "fleet committee" has recommended the fire department on a 30-year rotation plan for large trucks.
Fire Grant / See Page 6A
The grant application requests funding for a single axle pumper truck with an enclosed six passenger cab and 1,000 gallon storage tank.
"Acquisition of a truck of this design will greatly enhance the fire department's ability to provide services in a community with a growing medical center, growing manufacturing plants, an expanding university complex and much larger retail center," Prosser said.
Prosser said the grant program is very competitive.
In other news:
* City residents will see a 50 cent increase in landfill rates starting May 1.
The city council approved the first reading of an ordinance that will increase residential rates to $6.50 a month and increase commercial rates to $9 a month.
The Buena Vista Landfill Commission notified the city that the landfill assessment is increasing from $27 to $29, with a total annual assessment of $292,204 for the City of Storm Lake.
* The third and final reading of an ordinance increasing the industrial water rate passed yesterday.
The city council approved the higher rates as an incentive for large-volume water users to sign a water and "leave town" agreement with the City of Storm Lake.
The basis of the "leave town" agreement is that if a large water user does ever reduce usage or shut down operations, it would still be responsible to help fund its share of the approximately $6 million improvement project taking place at the water treatment plant.
The new rate affects industries that use over 5 percent of the peak daily production of the treatment plant. It takes effect April 1.
* Plans were approved for the 2003 Street Improvement Project. That project is estimated to cost $581,000.
The asphalt overlay work will include sections of North Lake Avenue, West 7th Street, West 6th Street, Michigan Street, Ontario Street, Geneseo Street, East 5th Street, College Avenue, Barton Street/Lighthouse Drive and Angier Drive.
* The city council approved plans for the airport hangar re-roofing project, which has an Iowa Department of Transportation cost covering 70 percent of the project's cost. The engineer's estimate is $25,000.
A bid opening for the project will be March 31. Work is scheduled to be completed by May 31.
* The railroad crossing at the intersection of Hwy. 110 and Hwy. 7 will be refurbished sometime between May 1 and Nov. 1 of the this year.
Permission was granted to the Iowa DOT and CC Railroad for a detour using Hyland Drive and Northwestern Drive as a detour.
Crossing replacement is expected to take from three to five days. A starting date has not been selected yet.