A $150,000 grant to Putnam County will go a long way toward buying a new fire engine for the Clinton Township Fire Department.
On Friday, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman announced the project as one of 38 statewide recipients of Community Focus Fund (CFF) grants.
The Putnam County Commissioners served as the sponsor agency for the grant, but the money will end up in the hands of the Walnut Creek Fire Protection District, which oversees the Clinton Township and Bainbridge fire departments.
Grant administrator Kristy Jerrell said the new truck will be a pumper truck with added rescue capabilities. She said the close proximity of houses at Van Bibber Lake Estates makes the pumping ability of the new apparatus a big upgrade.
"It's so essential, especially for Clinton Township, because they have Van Bibber Lake Estates," Jerrell said. "The houses are so close together and this truck will allow them to pump a lot more water into a fire."
The rescue capabilities mean the new truck can carry nearly any equipment needed so Clinton Township will not have to rely on other departments as much.
Additionally, the upgrade from a 1986 pumper means fewer mechanical problems.
"They're going to get an amazing truck," Jerrell said.
The estimated cost of the new equipment is $244,000. Besides the state grant, nearly $6,000 was given by the Putnam County Community Foundation, with $83,000 coming from the Walnut Creek equipment depreciation fund.
Jerrell praised the community foundation for its support, saying they added matching funds played well with the state.
"If we get money from the foundation, that is extra points for these small communities," Jerrell said. "Without the community foundation we probably wouldn't have gotten this grant."
Clinton Township will now have to enter a bidding process to get the truck built, with delivery of the new equipment expected in spring 2013.
The total disbursement statewide for this round of CFF grants is $16,248,626.
CFF grants assist Indiana's smaller cities and towns with their long-term development initiatives. The grant dollars fund projects such as sewer upgrades, new fire trucks, libraries and community centers.
"The CFF program provides an opportunity for our rural areas to achieve goals they otherwise may not be able to," Skillman said. "The fruition of the various projects will give each community a boost in a variety of ways from economic development to safety to infrastructure."
CFF grants are funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. OCRA provides technical assistance to community leaders during the 18-month implementation of their CFF projects.
This is the 16th round of CFF grants the lieutenant governor has awarded since 2005. Skillman will host a ceremony to honor the awardees at the statehouse on Sept. 21 at 1 p.m.
Other nearby communities receiving grants included Brazil, $400,000 for a community center; Waveland, $150,000 for a fire truck; Marshall, $95,400; and Bloomingdale, $500,000 for a water project.