The Commerce Township Fire Department was recently awarded a federal grant of close to $700,000 for the purchase of a new ladder truck.
The township’s current ladder truck dates back to 1986, when it was first donated to the fire department by DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital. While the truck still looks “sharp for its age,” according to township Supervisor Tom Zoner, the truck is also “somewhat outdated.”
“We weren’t going to buy (a new one) because it’s too expensive, and we wanted to save money in the budget,” he said. “But now with the grant money it seems reasonable.”
Although Commerce didn’t have enough money to cover the entire cost of a new ladder truck, Zoner said the township has been setting aside some funds over the years to purchase a new one.
Now with the help of the grant money, it looks like that may be a good possibility.
According to Fire Chief Joe Schornack, Firefighter Mark Gall was instrumental in the fire department earning this grant.
“He did a lot of work,” Schornack said. “He really helped me out by putting together the language for the grant and by working with people he knew to write the appropriate grant to get the funds.”
Schornack said officials are looking to purchase a truck with a 100-foot aerial tower and platform, with a price tag of close to $1 million.
The actual total amount the Commerce Fire Department would receive from the the Assistance to Fire Fighters grant is $681,048. However, the receiving of federal funds is contingent upon the township matching 10 percent of the grant money.
While Schornack said the decision to meet the requirements in order to accept the grant isn’t up to him, he isn’t sure why the township would turn down this opportunity. The new vehicle has to be purchased by next January to fulfill the grant’s requirements.