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Star Metropolis VFD wants assist funding repairs to donated engine

Like many volunteer hearth departments throughout the state, the Star Metropolis VFD has confronted monetary hardships up to now few years and given the tight finances, firefighters have been working with outdated gear.  

A little bit of fortune got here their method, nonetheless, after they acquired a donation from the Terry Farrell Basis primarily based on Lengthy Island, N.Y. – a 1990 Pierce Lance hearth engine. 

Earlier this month a number of of the firefighters traveled to River Vale, N.J., to choose up the brand new engine and produce it dwelling to serve the residents of Star Metropolis and its surrounding areas. 

In a publish to the division’s Fb web page on Feb. 28, members stated the truck was going to wish just a little work earlier than it’s operational. 

For its age, the division stated physique of the 34-year-old engine is in first rate form. However the motor? Not a lot. Whereas bringing the fireplace engine again to West Virginia, the motor gave out and repairs are estimated to price between $15,000-$18,000. This utterly sudden expense just isn’t one thing the division can cowl anytime quickly. 

In August 2023, the division issued a clear assertion relating to their monetary scenario, saying they had been struggling to handle a major debt load from the startup prices of their emergency medical service (EMS) launched in 2010 which was financed by taking out secured credit score in opposition to the property. 

Regardless of a few years of success, the EMS service was certainly one of many within the state to buckle underneath the heavy weight of COVID and all that got here with it and was finally pressured to close down. As a result of the EMS operations had been the VFD’s main supply of revenue, the division now struggles to cowl that debt. 

The division holds varied fundraisers all year long and receives donations from the group along with some state funding and a county levy, however because the busiest all-volunteer division within the county, members say there’s nonetheless a major shortfall. 

Within the publish, the division notes it reached out to the City of Star Metropolis, however officers had been unable to assist. 

“After reaching out to the City of Star Metropolis, we discover ourselves with out the help wanted to get our engine again on the street,” the publish reads. “Regardless of earlier efforts, now we have not acquired any funding from the City of Star Metropolis.” 

The Dominion Publish reached out to SCVFD Chief Justin Knotts on Thursday to seek out out extra in regards to the repairs wanted for the engine and the firefighters’ makes an attempt for monetary help from the city however had not heard again in time for this report. 

Star Metropolis Mayor Sharon Doyle stated she acquired an e-mail from Knotts requesting an estimated $20,000 to restore the engine. Doyle said she replied that the request would have to be added to a metropolis council agenda for consideration. 

Doyle stated no request was made by the division to be added to the agenda and at no time was a request made to take a seat down and talk about the finances. Nevertheless, a consultant from the division did attend the town council final assembly and spoke in the course of the citizen’s portion. 

The rep knowledgeable the council the division was elevating cash to restore the donated engine and to look at for upcoming fundraising occasions, however by no means requested for the funding, the mayor stated. 

Regardless, the city possible doesn’t have the finances to accommodate the request and Doyle feels it’s a bit unfair for the division to name out the city on social media for not contributing. 

“Sadly, Star Metropolis doesn’t have the finances that our neighboring municipalities have. We function on just a little over $2 million finances,” Doyle stated. “We’re at present working diligently to seek out funding for a storm water restore challenge in extra of $8 million to stop flooding for our residents.” 

As well as, the city just lately needed to take up $100,000 in sudden repairs to the town corridor constructing as a consequence of water points. 

In its request for help, the division is asking the group to assist by donating towards the trigger. 

“If you’re in a position, we’d sincerely respect any contribution you may make in direction of the restore prices,” the publish states. “Each donation, massive or small, brings us one step nearer to making sure our gear is operational, permitting us to proceed serving and defending our group.” 

A hyperlink to make a donation on-line was posted to the Star Metropolis Volunteer Fireplace Division Fb web page. If the mandatory funds for the repairs are collected, the division writes it would replace the group on the progress being made on its web page.