More info needed before Cobalt can get fire truck loan

More info needed before Cobalt can get fire truck loan
More info needed before Cobalt can get fire truck loan

Darlene Wroe

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

COBALT – Cobalt’s bid to purchase a new fire truck requires approval by the Infrastructure Ontario Crown lending agency for a long-term loan.

Cobalt town manager Steve Dalley informed council that he has received word from the agency that it will not consider the town’s request for a 15-year term loan to finance a new fire truck.

“It’s not in the best interest, given our current financial situation,” he told council at their April 2 council meeting.

He said the agency is seeking an approved copy of the town’s 2024 budget and an audited 2023 financial statement before any further discussions can take place on a long-term loan for a new fire truck.

The fire department has two fire trucks and the council is looking to purchase a new one. One is approximately 30 years old and the other about 50. To keep fire insurance ratings low, the town must have at least one fire truck that is no older than 19 years and has a pump that is in good working order.

Along with a 15-year term loan, the council had also considered a ten-year term loan, although monthly payments would be higher. The amount of the monthly payments would impact the taxes of the town’s ratepayers.

Councilor Doug Wilcox had previously argued for a ten-year term loan for the truck because he anticipates that in 10 to 15 years the town will need to replace the one that is currently 30 years old.

The new vehicle would replace the old truck.

Arguments in favor of a 15-year term loan would be to take the pressure off the present-day budget costs of operating the town, and the financial impact on the ratepayers.

Darlene Wroe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker

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