Coal Grove set to cut fire fee

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coal Grove residents and businesses will be getting a small bit of financial relief.

The village council has voted to rescind the fire fee after selling a piece of property it owns to Collins Career Center for $312,000. The property adjoins the center and the L&J dairy bar.

The village is going to use the money to pay off the balance it owes on a 2007 Smeal custom rescue pumper.

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“That will be coming off in possibly July or maybe in August,” said Coal Grove Mayor Larry McDaniel. “As soon as we get that paid off, we can take the fee off the monthly water fee.”

In May 2006, the Coal Grove village council added a fire fee of $4 per month for residences and $8 for businesses to buy a new fire truck.

The fee generated around $42,000 annually, enough to make a yearly payment on a truck for seven years. The total cost of the truck was $242,000.

“I’m really happy about this,” McDaniel said. “We got a little flak when put the fee on there, some people didn’t like it, but it was needed.”

The property was owned by the village, which leased it for 35 years to a now defunct steakhouse chain. Because the lease was almost up, the village bought it out and sold the property to Collins Career Center.

The L&J dairy bar will remain open.

McDaniel said he and the council have been working on the deal for two years.

The balance of the money won’t be used for day-to-day operations but will go into a capital improvement fund.

“It will be used on infrastructure of the village,” McDaniel said. “One thing we are looking into is getting a new water well drilled. And we could use it for roads or equipment.”

The pumper is designed put out 1,000 gallons of water per minute on a fire and has a 1,000-gallon water tank as well as a 20-gallon foam tank for chemical fires. It replaced a 1979 model that dilapidated and would cost more to repair than the truck was worth.

McDaniel said he and the residents appreciate the fire department and he realizes the solid work it


“Council and I are happy are to remove this fee from the residents,” he said.

Collins Career Center Superintendent Steve Dodgion was on vacation and unable to comment.