KEYSER - The Keyser Volunteer Fire Department would like for the City of Keyser to consider purchasing a pumper truck, and the city council in turn is considering adding a dollar to the residential fire fee in order to help pay for it.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Keyser Volunteer Fire Department would like for the City of Keyser to consider purchasing a pumper truck, and the city council in turn is considering adding a dollar to the residential fire fee in order to help pay for it.
The Keyser VFD had submitted a proposal for a used 1998 pumper truck to the council prior to their Jan. 23 meeting, and KVFD member Scott Matthews was on hand to answer any questions the officials might have.
According to the proposal, the original cost of the truck was set at $89,000, but it was lowered to $82,000. If the city would have approved the purchase that night, however, the price would have been reduced to $80,000.
Some of the equipment used by the Keyser VFD is owned by the company, and some is owned by the city.
According to Matthews, “The city currently holds title to one fire engine and the ladder truck.”
The ladder truck, which had a lighting issue, was recently fitted with new lights along the length of the ladder after being approved by the previous city administration. Matthews said the city has two payments left on that truck and it will be paid off.
Should the city decide to purchase the pumper truck, it would replace the 35-year-old fire engine.
Matthews said the pumper has only 52,000 miles on it, and would provide additional seating for firefighters.
When asked why the current owner was selling the truck, he said some fire departments in the Pennsylvania township where it’s currently stationed were consolidating some of their fleet.
City administrator Buck Eagle said he had spoken with a local bank representative who suggested financing the purchase with a seven-year loan, with payments at $1,100 a month.
Mayor Damon Tillman said, however, he felt the council needed more time to discuss the proposal and the source of funding.
Finance commissioner Mike Ryan noted that the fire fund “is currently in the hole $17,000.”
It was at that time that someone asked if the city would consider “raising your fire fee a dollar.”
Keyser residents currently pay a $2.40 fire fee on their water bill. Businesses located in the city pay a fire fee based on their size, and they just received a raise approximately three years ago.
“That’s something we really need to look into,” Tillman said, adding that he felt residents would “be glad they paid that dollar” if their house ever caught on fire.
The council took no action on the pumper, but plan to take a look at increasing the fire fee when they hold a budget work session on Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.