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County approves grant process for Howe fire truck

The community of Howe and Lima Township is on the way toward replacing a 1975 tanker truck. LaGrange County Commissioners agreed Monday morning, on a motion by Garry Heller, to approve three documents that will set the wheels in motion to apply for a $150,000 community development block grant.

A public hearing on the project and grant application will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, at the fire station in Howe. Kristine Christlieb, a community planner for Region III-A, said that an income survey will be sent out in the community. “It is very important that this be returned,” she said. The survey will be used to determine whether or not the Howe/Lima Township community qualifies for the low to moderate-income OCRA grant.

Christlieb emphasized that the survey is completely confidential with the people responsible for mailing the questionnaire not having any access to the questionnaires that are returned.

The fire truck project for Lima Township will include a local match of $79,000 in township accumulative fire funds. The Lima Township Trustee, Tom Smith, will be responsible for making sure the legal requirements of the project are satisfied.

Howe Fire Chief Larry Watkins said the new vehicle will be either a 2014 or 2015 tandem chassis with a 3,500-gallon water tank and a pumper capable of pumping 1,200 gallons of water per minute.