State aids fire truck buy

McComb will receive $250,000 from the state to pay more than half the cost of a new fire truck the city has arranged to lease over the next seven years. Area legislators inserted the funding into an appropriation bill.

Nestled deep within a Senate appropriations bill are a few lines that are a huge help to residents of McComb.

The Legislature approved $250,000 for the city, more than half the cost of the new fire truck the city is set to receive soon.

The board voted earlier this year to lease a fire truck for $485,000 over seven years, with a $150,000 downpayment. The board wracked itself over how it would be able to pay off the hefty note, with the department already using it’s insurance rebates to pay off its last fire truck purchase.

Mayor Quordiniah Lockley took the matter to the city’s legislative delegation, who were all aboard for sending some funds the city’s way, and the earmark was included in an appropriation bill.

Lockley said he was elated when he learned the Legislature came through for the city, as was Fire Chief Gary McKenzie.

“I am very tickled that it came through. It will certainly reduce our burden a little bit,” McKenzie said. “That will leave us coming up with $85,000, which is a lot easier to do.”

Rep. Daryl Porter Jr., D-Summit said he worked with Rep. Angela Cockerham, I-Magnolia, and Rep. Sam Mims, R-McComb, to secure the funding for the truck.

“I am happy we were able to secure those funds,” Porter said. “Having a fire truck is essential and vital to the safety of the citizens of any municipality, and there was a need, and we were very happy to step in and secure that funding.

“I have to give credit to Representative Angela Cockerham as well as Representative Sam Mims in securing this money. That is the way the government is supposed to work. No matter the color of your skin or the party you are affiliated with, you come together and reach a common goal.”

Lockley said he was proud to hear the state is helping out significantly on the cost, noting that when the delegation puts its efforts together and are in agreement on an issue, it can get just about any issue sorted.

“I appreciate the delegation that supported the efforts to assist the City of McComb with funds for the fire truck. Good things happen in and for McComb,” Lockley said.  “I have to give kudos to Representative Porter, who took the ball and ran with it.”

Lockley said he was not sure when the city would receive the money, but he hopes to take it straight to First Bank, which financed the truck, because the city has three years to use the money for its intended purpose.

Now the city could have the new truck paid off in as little as two years, and there is no penalty for paying the truck off early.

“I would like to use it as soon as we get it. That way if we need assistance in the future, it will indicate that we use the money we need the way we said we would in a timely manner,” he said.

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