The Onalaska Town Board has voted to change where it will borrow funds to pay its portion of a new fire truck.

The town of Onalaska is a member of the Holmen Area Fire District Association Board, which oversees the Holmen Area Fire Department.

The fire board recently approved the purchase of a new aerial ladder truck made by Pierce of Oshkosh for $861,000.

The ladder truck/fire engine will replace two of the department’s older fire trucks.

In addition to the town of Onalaska, the village of Holmen and the town of Holland are members of the fire district. Each member municipality is responsible for a third of the cost of the new Quint fire truck.

At a special meeting June 28, Onalaska town Supervisor Stan Hauser moved to reconsider the motion he made at the board’s June 12 regular meeting to seek financing through the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands for the purchase.

At the regular Onalaska town board meeting, supervisors approved Hauser’s motion to secure a five-year loan through the board of public lands.

The state agency has a program through which it will lend funds to municipalities for such investments.

The current interest rate for such loans is 4 percent.

The Onalaska town supervisors were informed the amount each municipality would need to provide to cover the cost of the fire truck is $287,333.33.

Having the exact figure to work with, the municipalities will be able to borrow for that amount and not have to include extra in the event of an overrun.

The First National Bank approached the town board with an alternative loan proposal. Jeff Schmidt, Holmen branch manager of First National Bank, provided the board with a payment schedule for the loan.

The loan schedule matches that of the state board with repayment to begin next March and additional payments on the five-year loan to be made annually in March. However, the interest on the loan will be 3.8 percent.

“It’s $10,000 less than what was calculated (at the June 12 meeting),” said town of Onalaska clerk Mary Rinehart. “It doesn’t affect the levy, but will be part of the mil rate and it’s .2 percent less interest.”

OTB Chair Rolly Bogert informed the supervisors that Pierce will bill each municipality directly and the payments won’t need to be sent through the fire department.

The Holland Town Board voted at a special June 20 meeting to borrow its portion of the purchase from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands at the 4 percent interest.

To cover its portion of the purchase, Holmen will dip into its capital reserves; the funds in the account are set aside for this kind of purchase.

The fire department anticipates delivery of the new fire truck sometime this summer.


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