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    Default USDA Rural Communities Grant/Loan

    Has anyone ever applied for a piece of apparatus under this Grant/Loan? My department is looking to replace our 23 year old engine tanker and our 32 year old Medium Duty Rescue. We want to consolidate them into one new vehicle.

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    Yes it's been done, but the limit for grant funds is $50k so everything above that amount is financed. Eligibility is based on total population, Median Household Income of the area served, % unemployment, and % poverty level. If you contact the local office that covers your area they can help determine whether or not you'd qualify for any grant money. Anyone qualifies for loans.

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    We've actually done it three times--pumper '97, rescue '07, pumper '10.

    In our case, the grant paid 55% and we got a low-interest loan for the remaining 45%. It's quite a bit of paperwork, but our area office was super helpful. Good financial records will help.
    “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
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    Our local rep declined us for the grant portion because our numbers were too high - he used the figures for the entire Town, despite the fact that we only cover half of it (and the poorer half at that!) So, he continues to insist we are not eligible despite the fact he is adding an additional Fire District in... He only looks at town boundaries...

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    Quote Originally Posted by medic190 View Post
    Our local rep declined us for the grant portion because our numbers were too high - he used the figures for the entire Town, despite the fact that we only cover half of it (and the poorer half at that!) So, he continues to insist we are not eligible despite the fact he is adding an additional Fire District in... He only looks at town boundaries...
    Hmm.. We only cover a portion of our town as well. Our rep sent me some info but the paperwork is far different than the AFG stuff I'm used to. Plus I'm new to the dept so my head is spinning right now.

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    let me know if you make any headway! I think we have the same rep...

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    That is how we financed our new engine in 2012. I don't remember what the grant portion was, but the remaining amount was financed at a very low percentage. We should have it paid off this year and we're going to try again to replace our 45 year old mini-pumper. Like others said, it is a lot of paperwork, but if it pays off its well worth the time. Our local USDA rep was very helpful, in fact he got a hold of us out of the blue a couple weeks ago to tell us about another grant we qualify for and that he had already got the application started for us.

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    What was the other grant FF715MRFD?
    We used the USDA/ Rural Development program, but it was the most complicated and frustrating thing I ever did and I am used to federal paperwork through my job. It took quite a while and there were a lot of steps. Often conflicting information from the state office and the local office. We did get the small grant and a big loan.
    BB

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB3939 View Post
    What was the other grant FF715MRFD?
    We used the USDA/ Rural Development program, but it was the most complicated and frustrating thing I ever did and I am used to federal paperwork through my job. It took quite a while and there were a lot of steps. Often conflicting information from the state office and the local office. We did get the small grant and a big loan.
    It is a Community Facilities grant. The way I understood it was because our city is doing a lot of upgrades to its infrastructure (all new water mains), it qualified us for a 75% matching grant for use to improve our facility. We were in the process of bidding out new station lighting since ours are the original fixtures from when the station was built and this grant is going to allow us to replace the heaters (also original) and the lights for pretty much what it was going to cost us for just the lighting project.

    I will agree about the frustrating paperwork. Like I said though, we had an awesome rep form USDA, I don't imagine everyone has had a similar experience.

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