Humboldt OKs $305,000 for pumper

Humboldt City Council members began putting together the financing to acquire a new pumper truck for the city. The truck would include a $50,000 USDA grant and a $255,000 loan.


Local News

March 23, 2021 - 9:56 AM

Sean McReynolds, fire chief of Humboldt's Volunteer Fire Department Photo by Susan Lynn / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — The first step to securing $305,000 in USDA funding to go toward the purchase of a new fire pumper truck was completed Monday evening by Humboldt city council members. Council gathered for a special meeting to sign the paperwork prepared by Michael Billings, a loan specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development office in Iola.

The funding consists of a $50,000 grant from the USDA Community Facility program and a USDA loan for $255,000 to be paid over the next 20 years at a 2.125% interest rate. If interest rates drop during the next two months that it takes to finalize the loan process, then Humboldt can lock into the lower rate, said Billings, who met with the council remotely.

The city has budgeted $355,149 for the new fire truck, including $5,000 for bond counsel. The remaining $50,149 will come from the city’s reserve fire department funds. Herder expects loan payments of about $13,000 a year.

THE SEARCH for a “sister” for the department’s three-year-old pumper fire truck began last fall. 

It will replace a 27-year-old truck that, according to volunteer fire chief Sean McReynolds, has served Rural Fire District No. 4 faithfully.

“The average lifespan of a fire truck is 20 years,” McReynolds told council members at a previous meeting.

“The commercial and industrial growth of the town is getting ahead of our current fire-fighting capacities,” McReynolds said. 

Logan and Humboldt townships comprise the rural fire district.

The newer model will hold more water, have an automatic transmission and use gasoline, as opposed to diesel.

ONCE the funds are secured, officials can expect the new engine “in 333 days,” said Cole Herder, city administrator. As with their newer truck, officials are using Toyne Fire Apparatus Manufacturers out of Breda, Iowa to build the truck. 

So it probably won’t be here for Christmas. But it’ll be a sweet Valentine’s Day present.