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Fire association's loan postponed

July 28, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday postponed approval of a $100,000 loan the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association wants so it can buy property for offices at 1501 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown.

The request for money from the county's revolving loan fund will be reconsidered in two weeks after the property is appraised and an insurance question answered.

The commissioners approved a $75,000 loan to the Mount Aetna Volunteer Fire Co., contingent on its receipt of a $165,000 grant from the Maryland Emergency Services Trust Fund. The fire company would pay 5 percent interest on the 10-year loan.

The money will be used to buy a 2,000-gallon engine tanker to replace a damaged one. The fire company would put down a $25,000 cash down payment toward the purchase.

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The vote was 4-0 with Commissioner William J. Wivell absent.

If the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association purchases the property, it will have space for five offices, a conference room and a kitchen, said Association President Jay Grimes. The purchase price is $147,500.

The property would house the administrative planner, the emergency medical system coordinator and other employees and provide a place for processing and storing reporting systems, audits and budgets, he said.

"We need to have a permanent home so we can maintain these records and keep accurate information," Grimes said.

If the association receives its requested10-year loan, at 5 percent interest, it would mark the first time the group, as opposed to an individual company, received a grant from the fund.

The association hopes to move into the property within 30 days of purchase, Grimes said.

The association has been using a house on Landis Road near Funkstown as temporary headquarters for about three years, Grimes said. The house soon will be removed as part of a drainage project.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop reminded the commissioners that the money the association would use to pay back the loan would come mostly from grants the commissioners give the group annually.

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