1. #1
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    Default Revolving Loan Program

    Just in case a few of you haven't heard, the OSFM has posted the program guidance and the application for the truck revolving loan program. Looks a lot like FEMA's application. It's due MARCH 15, 2004. For more info visit www.state.il.us/osfm/

    Chad
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    Did a quick reading of the application and it looks well written and straightforward to me. I especially liked this part

    “Eligible applicants must also have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting
    System (NFIRS) for a minimum of the previous two years.”

    It will be interesting to know how many departments will wish they hadn't been out of compliance on the reporting laws! I have always thought that FEMA’s requirement to participate in NIFRS for only one year after receiving money was rather lax. The committee and everyone else that had any part of putting this thing together should be commended on a job well done!
    Proudly serving as Vice-President of the Illinois Delegation of the IACOJ

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    Unhappy Where to post

    I could post this here or under the Trustees thread.
    Having read the application and rules, our trustees have screwed us out of a chance to qualify for a grant due to their inappropiate handling of their finances. It's kind of hard to show a financial need for apparatus when there's over $250k stuck in all but worthless CDs! Of course they plead poverty when we ask for funds to replace all the hose we've blown lately(8 fires since 1/1/04 and at least 1 blown hose at each of the fires) or the 6 nozzles that leak like a seive; or; or; or......rant on.......now I'm all worked up again It's too early to get started.....rant off
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    Now, Mike, as sargent-at-arms, you shouldn't present such resentment towards your higher ups, as CR refers to himself. you are probably right that you guys will be low on the list with such a bank account. If it was up to one of our trustees, we'd have the same thing. Fortunatly, the other two see my side of it more often than not. We probably could have gotten in the program had we not already bought a truck. We just couldn't wait any longer. The NFIRS thing will knock a lot of depts. out, too. We didn't do them until I got to be chief. The others didn't seem to bother. If they did, it was once a year and would send in one month's reports.
    A lot of people crab about the cops getting all the toys, but they do the paperwork. That's been one of our problems all along. I heard at our chief's meeting the other night that OSFM is sending out another needs survey like they did a couple of years ago. They only got a 6% response then, but now if you don't send it back, it's bye-bye state aid. So, when you get it in the mail, fill it out and send it back. It's 4 pages of questions that the chief should be able to fill out without looking anything up.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    I remember that survey. I pulled it out of the trash can after a trustee meeting. I completed it and sent it in despite being covered in coffee grounds.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


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    Did someone say that they need a higher up here?
    Got questions on the rules? I have the rule book right here by the computer.
    I was told that the rules were adopted as written, which means that the ones I have from the meetings are accurate.
    For those of you who may not know; as soon as your audited statement is submitted showing your finances, well; the whole idea is financial need.
    Mike; there is no question that you need equipment. The money is there. Your trustees don't want to spend it.
    But, by law, they are required to UNLESS it is held back for a SPECIFIC purpose. They cannot have "rainy day" funds. They cannot have "emergency" funds. They CAN have a "new truck" fund.
    Otherwise, the money HAS to be spent during the fiscal year.
    Have a couple of taxpayers sue their butts. That will get their attention. That costs money.
    CR
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    we are holding our breath to get 2 or 3 new tankers we need badly.....but we will not hold it too long for fear of turning blue......guess it is harder to show need when you have 6 stations......7 pumpers...7 tankers.....6 brush trucks....but we cover close to 300 miles of area..that is mainly all old crappy roads that tear equipment up..6 stations is not a cheap task to keep up alone...on top of equipment......one of our tankers was welded 4 times last year and still leaks...another is a old spare that only leaves the building if it absolutly has to....and since we are rural tankers are our bread and butter...the question is what the state terms as financial need.....keep in mind they are used to spending money they don't have nor have any idea where it is coming from for sure LOL...ok that was not nice to say but it is true....none of use can afford to operate on money that we hope will magically appear......it sounds like a super program......IF it is adminstered properly.....just my 2 cents worth on a rant





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    Art,
    I know what they can and can't do anh have to do, but how do we get them to comply? They blow us off every month at their meetings.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


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    We got our official answer from our trustees that we will not be applying for a loan.(This was decided before Wayne passed away)
    Last night, our guys voted to go for a brush truck in FIRE grant 04. The committee from the last 2 years tried to talk them out of it but it didn't work. Both stations already have one although one is a 1974 and the other a 76. Time will tell.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


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    2160:
    Need is spelled out very clearly in the rules. No gray areas.
    Need is determined by your tax revenues and the lack of or the age of your fire apparatus. An audited financial statement will be needed and you are asked to list the age of your equipment from newest to oldest.
    The only other thing you have to do is come up with TWO ways to re-pay the loan; your primary re-payment plan and your Plan B if Plan A fails.
    Mike: get your hands on the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts Handbook. It will tell you all you need to know to take the fight to them.
    Apparently, they would rather wait until everyone else gets a loan. Then they can do it the old fashioned way; they can borrow from the local bank and pay interest.
    CR
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    I see they extended the deadline to April 15. CR, you know how come? This might give us a chance to talk the trustees into applying for something.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Jack:
    I can only speculate on two possible reasons for the extension:
    1) They haven't gotten the responses that they anticipated, meaning that they are lower than expected; and
    2) Because there is currently turmoil in the state fire marshal's office; that is, Vina's lack of confirmation and the possibility that another state fire marshal might be named.
    Otherwise; your guess is as good as mine.
    CR
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    CR & others, I got a e-mail from JT Somers through our association that said there was a lower than expected number of applications and that we should get off our duffs and get them in. Also, applications received prior to the March 15 deadline would be reviewed first, then those that are received between March 15 and April 15. So, it seems that if anybody is thinking about applying, get them in before by Monday to be on the first list to get reviewed. It seems that they will accept the apps on Monday for the first group since Sunday is the 15th. If we hadn't just bought 2 trucks we would have jumped at this opportunity.
    If you guys need a truck, get with it! We asked for this, it happened and now we're not taking advantage of it.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Hey CR, since you've got the rules there at hand and a great view of the program what do you think a small 35 member depts chance at a rescue pumper would be.

    Budget: $45000/year
    Members: 35
    Trucks:
    1996 Pumper
    1957 Ford F700 Pumper
    1956 Ford F700 Pumper
    1974 Dodge Powerwagon Rescue
    1979 Ford Tanker (Old grain Truck with a 1600gal. tank)
    1998 Brush truck

    average run count is just over 50/year but the dept is extending into EMS assist runs with the ambulance service. What are the chances here??

    code_blue81
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    Attended an auto extrication class today put on by IFSI and was told by an instructor that the reason he has heard for the application deadline extension was that the OSFM had only received EIGHTEEN apps. He also went on to say that if the money wasn't asked for or used, then lawmakers would do away with the program as soon as possible.

    We submitted and I know Patoka did too. That leaves 16 in the rest of the state. What do you guys think? Does the number of applications sound plausible or just some rumors and/or misinformation?

    Jeremy, where have you been? Haven't heard from you for a while.

    Chad
    SFPD Member MABAS Division 47
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    I can tell you all this:
    The reason this program was fought so hard for was because several town meetings and hearings were held all over the state and many said that they would apply if there was a program. Well, the program was established. I think that part of the problem is that CHIEFS went to the hearings, but it is the TRUSTEES who makes the decisions to spend and to borrow money. The chiefs testified at the hearings that they needed this program. The trustees are saying "if it's money we have to pay back, we don't want it". Were this a GRANT program, people would be falling over themselves to get to it. But since it's money that has to be paid back; at ZERO interest, no less, the attractiveness isn't as great. And the sad part is; if you are counting on that FIRE Act money; forget it. The program as we know it is done. Ridge and everyone else in Washington STILL THINKS that terrorism and its associated incidents are a law enforcement issue. FIRE Act will be dead after 2005. And each year that you wait; the cost of the apparatus that you are needing is going up an average of 9%. That truck you want this year for $180,000 is going to cost you $196,200 next year. And if you have to go to the bank, you will pay 5% interest for 20 years. Your payments will be $19,620 per year, instead of $9000 per year. OUCH!
    I got my loan app in. If many of you believe that the rules are prohibiting participation, then look for changes. I expect that, if the need isn't trucks, then loose equipment might be added to the list.
    What are your thoughts?
    CR
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    Art, you hit the nail on the head. How many other chiefs and officers wanted to apply for the truck loan only to have the trustees say no. The appointment of our new trustee won't happen before Apr 15th, so our situation won't change soon enough. The Hons Moffit and Smith as well as their task force worked too hard to not have better support.
    I even tried last week to convince our two remaining trustees to let us apply anyway and turn down the loan if we were approved. That didn't fly either. Of course, each month I brought the loan up at a trustee meeting, the presidend said
    NO
    without even a discussion. Oh no, here I go again...
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    Art, we would have applied for an engine had the program come a little sooner. We waited as long as we could and had to use a 50k RDA grant so we borrowed the rest of it from them. I haven't brought it up again to the trustees because we're about 120k in debt now and I know I'd get the same answer that Mike 's getting. NO. We will have a meeting before the 15th and I'll ask them for a tanker. Who knows, miracles still happen. Maybe the requirement of having to show 2 ways to repay the loan is prohibitive to departments. I don't know what I'd put in for that. We'll have enough tax money to pay it back, that'd not be a problem. What do I answer - sell spaghetti every day until we make $8,000? How the heck do you answer that question???
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    We were talking about some of the requirements needed for the loan too. Maybe that had something to do with the low number of apps.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


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    Default News?

    The deadline has passed for submitting the loan application. Now what? Anyone have any insights into the time frame? Anyone hear final numbers received?

    Chad
    SFPD Member MABAS Division 47
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    Default Loan update

    Here's the latest from the State Fire Marshal's Office regarding the Revolving Loan Program.


    Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program



    UPDATED: 04-26-04

    The Application Period for the first year of the Program has ended. Applications were to be postmarked on or before April 15, 2004 in order to be considered. On behalf of the State Fire Marshal J.T. Somer, thank you to the well over 200 fire departments that have submitted applications.

    Eligible loan applications are still being logged. Final statistics will be available once all applications have been received and logged.

    RULES: Rules for the program may be found at 41 Ill. Adm. Code 290 and were adopted (notice published in Illinois Register, Vol. 28, Issue 11, dated March 12, 2004).

    PROCESS IN BRIEF: The Application Review Committee is being finalized. The Committee will review all applications and make its recommendations for funding. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) for review of credit worthiness.

    Once the IFA review is complete, those departments approved for a loan will be notified. Notification will also be sent to those applications whose requests were denied. requests for Reconsideration shall be sent to the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), in accordance with procedures outlined in the Rules.

    At this time, there is no specific scheduled date for announcements of loan awards. Please continue to check back at the OSFM web site for updates.

    FUTURE APPLICATION PERIODS: To be announced during Fiscal Year 2005.
    SFPD Member MABAS Division 47
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    Have any of you that are receiving fed. grants for trucks considered using this fund to help pay your portion? My trustees asked me to look into it. I do not see anything illegal about using the funds; you are simply borrowing the money. I know the app period has passed, but is there any loopholes to consider?
    BAClair

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4caster
    Have any of you that are receiving fed. grants for trucks considered using this fund to help pay your portion? My trustees asked me to look into it. I do not see anything illegal about using the funds; you are simply borrowing the money. I know the app period has passed, but is there any loopholes to consider?
    Two thoughts come to mind on this:

    1) (And this is probably the most important right now): Revolving loan is broke. They loaned out all the cash and the legislature did not appropriate more to keep it going till the money gets paid back. So, until they either kick a bunch in, or those loans start paying back, there won't be any more cash to loan out for a spell.

    2) You'll need to check with the grant administrators. I want to think there was something in the grant requirements that matching funds can't come from a loan or another grant. I might be full of poo about that, but it's definately worth a call to the help desk.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

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    I figured about all that. Just to set the page straight, we've got the money as we said on our questions; we're just looking at other options. Probably won't go this route anyway, but thanks for the update.
    BAClair

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    Check for sure, but there's no problem borrowing the money or using a state grant that you already have in the bag. Don't count on the state doing anything for you in a timely manner, though.
    I think there's something about your portion not coming from federal funds, though.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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