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Howe Fire Department needs community input on new truck

The Howe Fire Department held a public meeting Monday evening at the fire station as it works toward a grant for a new fire truck.

The department is looking to replace a 1975 tanker truck that has a bad tank liner with a new tanker/pumper truck.

The new truck is estimated to cost $229,000. The department is working on a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs for $150,000 of the cost, with $70,000 from the Cumulative Fire Protection Fund.

It was noted at the meeting that the old truck needs to be replaced due to the bad liner and a host of other mechanical issues.

As part of the application process, the department is looking for letters from those who live in the fire protection area, which includes all of Lima Township and parts of Greenfield and VanBuren townships. A form for a “letter of need” is available through Lima Township Trustee Tom Smith, through the fire station, or downloaded from the LaGrange Publishing Company website. Letters need to be submitted by April 5. Residents can also e-mail letters of need to Kristine Chrislieb at

The grant is a competitive process that is scored on points based on a variety of factors, including letters of need from the area.

Part of the process includes an income survey. Letters will be sent to those in the area, who are asked to return them to help with the grant process. The income study is completely anonymous.

It was noted that a new tanker/pumper will allow the department to apply for a lower ISO rating, which is used to determine area insurance rates for the community.