1. #1
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    Default Vehicle Grant award $$$ Limit

    Our Fire Co. has been awarded an 06 AFG grant for a new brush truck. The grant was reduced by $30K to $125K from the original request. We doubt we can get a truck close to what we originally speced. Any one know what are options are? We need a true Brush truck with cab and body protections to use in the woods and not a wildlands type pickup w/ skid unit.

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    Default Your options are to cut the unit options

    The options are to cut back on the chrome and other options that you truly don't need to meet the cost. Your other option is to increase your cost share in order to buy the unit you want using the federal money. The technical specialists are familiar enough with the cost of things and if they cut your award amount, they had good reason. You are not going to get more money out of the feds so be happy with what you got and revise your project spec to make the most out of it. There are a lot of companies out there that are going to get DJ'ed that would love to have the money so as I said, be happy and be willing to live with a little fewer options.

    Dave

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    Default Wasn't looking for more Fed$$

    We weren't looking for more Fed money and would be happy to come up with the extra $$ to purchase our originally proposed truck. Most of this extra money will go into cab and body protection bars and rollover protection. The DHS rep says we have to stick to the original amount which knocks off alot of what would make this a true brush truck. Own town has a lot of densely wooded areas that a unprotected truck would get severely damaged if it has to travel through it. We do appreciate the fact that we do have this award but are trying to buy the best truck we can to suit our needs.

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    Unfortunately, there is little that you can do. Since you have been awarded the brush truck the difference will have to be made up by your department. At the time of the reduction notice you could have contaced the POC (you may have) listed and questioned the reduction. Some of the time they don't fully understand what you are trying to accomplish therefore the reduction. By explaining to them by phone and/or e-mail the reasons for the equipment may change their minds to partially increase or fully restore what was cut. This has been done by other departments successfully.

    Is the new vehicle replacing an existing vehicle? If so, can those items be transferred to the new rig.

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    The new unit is replacing a current brush truck but the current one will still be in service as second due therefore the equipment cannot be transfered. A question I have is is it allowed for the recipient of a vehicle grant to add funds to get the truck originally spec'd. My department would add some funding if neccessary but is that allowed?

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    Yes, exceeding your match and adding additonal funds is allowable.

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    There's no maximum to the % of the project that the department can pay, so you could put in that $30K that they cut, or even more depending on how you wanted it built. When we built our rescue via 2002 AFG we ended up adding another $45K to it to move up a chassis grade and go to the big block Detroit along with some scene lighting upgrades and other goodies. DHS didn't even flinch when we told them. As long as you put in your % or more, no issues.

    And for the lurkers, you don't need cash to do this. If you need to finance your match or overmatch through the vendor or any other bank, that's allowed also. Nothing says you have to have cash in hand on the day of award.

    - Brian

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    Millington; I feel for you ,BUT we'll change places with you as our request for 135,000 for a replacement for our 25 y.o. brush truck was dear johned. You can always add more to your shar to complete the project. unfortunately for us that amount will be 135,000. good luck with your project.

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    Default onebugle & BC79er

    Is the fact that you can kick in extra $$ documented anywhere? Our PS has insisted that we can not buy a vehicle for more than the agreed to reduced amount and if we have the extra $$$ than the DHS would reduce the grant that much more. Sounds absurd to me since we are not asking for more Fed $$ only to kick in the extra to get the truck we originally speced out.

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    Default Be careful ...

    I find it disturbing that some fire companies hold several fund raisers through the year just to scrap enough money together to meet a 5% match, yet the companies who get awarded 135 grand for a brush truck want to spend an extra 30 grand they have on hand to make it "better". I'm not bashing you for doing so, you won the grant writing contest, but it's becoming more apparent that the lack of eloquent grant writing skills will cost you a grant regardless of how bad you need the award.

    To those DJ's who truly merit the award ... I would seriously consider a grant writing seminar, and if at all possible, invest in a good grant writer.

    J. Fred in Salem NJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by millington View Post
    The new unit is replacing a current brush truck but the current one will still be in service as second due therefore the equipment cannot be transfered. A question I have is is it allowed for the recipient of a vehicle grant to add funds to get the truck originally spec'd. My department would add some funding if neccessary but is that allowed?
    Not to add additional grief, but you need to make sure that you can keep the "replaced" truck in service. If you wrote as a "replacement" rig and not as an "addtional" piece of equipment, the current vehicle may need to be removed from service.

    earl (happily removing the '73 from service in July)

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    Quote Originally Posted by millington View Post
    Is the fact that you can kick in extra $$ documented anywhere?
    Yes it is. When you complete your close out report this is where it will be documented. Ex. $135,000 grant ($128,250 fed, $6,750 local match). Total cost of vehicle $165,000. Federal share is still $128,250 with the local share $36,750. This will come out in the report showing you picked up the additional exspenses.

    You can add more to the local share without reducing the award amount. You are getting bad info. All 3 of our awards resulted in the department paying more above the local share than was required (between a few hundred dollars up to $6,000 extra). All documented in the close out reports with 2 of the reports officially closed by the feds (3rd to be filed this week).

    If you wrote as a "replacement" rig and not as an "addtional" piece of equipment, the current vehicle may need to be removed from service.
    Earl brings out a good point.

    The PG states:

    Applicants with these unsafe vehicle characteristics will receive higher consideration over applicants seeking to replace vehicles having these safety features. However, applicants wanting to benefit from this consideration must certify the unsafe vehicle will be permanently removed from service if awarded a grant.
    If you stated this about the current apparatus, it will have to disappear.

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    Default j. Fred $$ not on hand

    Quote Originally Posted by jFredAyars View Post
    I find it disturbing that some fire companies hold several fund raisers through the year just to scrap enough money together to meet a 5% match, yet the companies who get awarded 135 grand for a brush truck want to spend an extra 30 grand they have on hand to make it "better". I'm not bashing you for doing so, you won the grant writing contest, but it's becoming more apparent that the lack of eloquent grant writing skills will cost you a grant regardless of how bad you need the award.

    To those DJ's who truly merit the award ... I would seriously consider a grant writing seminar, and if at all possible, invest in a good grant writer.

    J. Fred in Salem NJ
    Just to clarify, the orignal intent of our grant application was for a 155K brush truck that would meet NJ Forest Service standards. That includes full wrap around brush guard bumpers and cab protection bars. The review comittee reduced the award amount down to 125K. We would have to raise these extra funds or go to our township with our hats in our hands to get the extra 30k to bring the truck back up to the original spec.

    I would take exception to your comment that we are not truely deserving since some people are under the false impression that we have 30K to throw around. We are all desrving of a share of federal $$$.

    I do agree with your comment that fire depts who are unsucessful need to enlist the help of a grant writer. We have been extremely fortunate as this is the third year in a row that we have been awarded a grant by demonstrating a real need and writing a convincing narrative.

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    I would also have to chime in that many awards are reduced by Peer for reasons that have nothing to do with common sense sometimes. But, better to have some money than no money. Several departments I have worked with over the years have not overmatched to put on chrome wheels, spinners, and train air horns. They've overmatched to get the functionality that is going to best serve their needs, whether it's a larger water tank, CAFS, better chassis, etc. Several have taken out loans in order to finance the extra money they didn't have because fundraising is like getting blood from a stone in some areas.

    On the other side, you don't have to be an English major to get funded. Sure there are ways to put things that are better than others, that's the basis for communication skills in the first place: know your audience, know how to explain in their terms. That's why we all stress find a grant seminar that caters to emergency services. I've worked with numerous municipal grant writers because they realize they don't understand the fire service, but they can read guidance documents and figure out what is wanted IF they knew what the PG's industry specifics were. So the person writing has to be schooled in the fire service to some degree. I'm better prepared for grant writing as a vollie of 14 years than I am with the degree in Comp Sci and partial MBA. Although both have helped my writing skills considerably.

    So check out the workshop schedules and get thee to a nunnery, I mean workshop. I just came back from NJ, going to Salem NY next week, and the 31st is the beginning of 7 in the PA/NJ area.

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