During the July 11 Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting, Allen Township Supervisors approved a $1 million donation to the Allen Township Volunteer Fire Company for the purchase of a new waterway engine at the total cost of $1.2 million. The fire department will be responsible for paying the difference.
Jacob Schock, president of the fire company, said he pursued two quotes for the new truck, both “remarkably close.” However, the department already has a Pierce truck in production and trusts the manufacturer. In addition, Pierce proposed an upgraded suspension and state-of-the-art electrical system that “will grow with us,” said Schock.
The total price of the truck would be $1,299,561. However, paying for the apparatus upfront would save roughly $97,000, bringing the total cost down to around $1,202,000.
Supervisors expressed interest in purchasing the truck upfront to ensure the department gets the equipment they need. A new board could potentially rescind any financial contribution made by the township to the fire department in the future if the purchase wasn’t made. Supervisor Dale Hassler also cautioned that the cost of new fire engines only continues to increase, rising over $50,000 in the last year alone.
“I want to make sure the fire company gets what they need,” said Supervisor Gary Behler. “The only way I can do that is if I get a vote.”
All supervisors agreed, approving the donation of $1 million for the new truck. As fire chief, Hassler abstained from the vote but did thank the township for its support.
“As fire chief, I appreciate this,” he said. “This is going to help us for a long time…[we are] so thankful.”
He called it an investment in the fire department and a way to support future generations of volunteer firefighters.
Schock agreed, saying this new truck’s mobile water supply will also help residents of the township in more remote areas where hydrants are not accessible, including his own neighborhood.
The fire department had a significant amount of calls this year alone, with over 240 since January. This includes the June 16 Willow Ridge apartment fire. Supervisor Paul Link called out the volunteers, saying he was “impressed” with how everyone worked together that day.
In other news, Dewey Engineering was on hand to discuss design plans for the fire department and municipal building renovations at 3530 Howertown Rd.
Designs showed how the building would take on two distinct entities: a township municipal building on the upper level and the fire department on the lower level. The upper level would include administrative offices, a boardroom and a communal hallway. A tax office and customer service window would be located at the front of the entryway so residents can pay taxes. The building would still maintain enough space for elections and other community needs.
Enhancements would include new signage and radio towers. Restrooms would also be renovated and brought up to standards. Safety glass would protect the administrative staff, while exits behind the secured area would allow employees to evacuate the building in case of emergency. Another major renovation includes asbestos removal beneath the building’s existing tile floor.
The project is expected to start in February 2024 and run until October 2024. The township staff and Board of Supervisors will relocate to the old municipal building during this time. A temporary spot will be located for elections. The fire department will not be impacted by construction.
The total cost of the project is roughly $8.75 million. The township will seek financing, in addition to applying for $6 million in grants from Northampton County, Monroe County and statewide LSA gaming grants. These applications were approved during the July 11 meeting.
“Let’s apply for the maximum and see if we can get a few million,” said Township Manager Ilene Eckhart.
As these exciting changes take place in the township, supervisors also approved the search for an assistant township manager. Supervisors approved an interview committee, as well as third-party background checks of potential candidates by Intercounty Investigations and Solutions.
Finally, movie night at Kreidersville Covered Bridge Park is scheduled for July 21, with a rain date of July 22. Eckhart said the community has been very responsive. The movie will be 2023’s “Super Mario Bros.”
The next Board of Supervisors Meeting will be Tuesday, July 25 at 6 p.m.