1. #1
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    Default Narrative Question

    Our town is buying all new turnout gear, pagers, and buying a brush truck for our volunteer fire department. We have not seen the town spend this kind of money for fire department equipment in quite a few years. I was going to make mention of this in our narrative for a grant application for SCBAs, and tie it into the fact that our department is comprehensively upgrading gear and equipment, and that our town is kicking in big $$$, but we need the grant money for SCBAs. A couple of guys thought that was unwise, saying that maybe that would be considered a negative and that it might work against us as the grant reviewers will figure we can buy our own SCBAs next year. Since none of this is set in stone right now, but pretty close to being so, which is the best way to go?

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    Far from a grant expert, but if the town can afford all this stuff at once, they should be able to afford the SCBA's next year. To me, you will have a hard time demonstrating a true financial need on this one.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Yeah, but this is a once in 10 year event in our town. We were quite surprised when we were told what we were getting. We doubt we will be getting this much for quite a while.

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    Sounds like it's time to communicate with "the town". In order tok now what to write for, how to write it and whether you will have their support (and approval if necessary)--the department needs to know what is going on. And in fairness, the town needs to know what the department is doing so they can plan and budget.

    Is this a one-time windfall or a change in levy?
    Was there a cumulative fire fund that is now empty?
    What are the future plans and will the department budget be affected?

    If you can't answer those types of questions when you apply, you're not likely to be able to answer them at audit time.

    earl

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    We are communicating with the town, and that's why I posed the question. As I stated, the town put in for a bond to buy new turnout gear, pagers, a new brush truck, and new equipment and a rig for the first aid squad. This was done by a bond. Why this year, we don't know--but we see it as a rare windfall and we are thankful. We told the town we want to apply the scba grant, and they are behind us on that. Future plans? It will probably go back to the status quo, but we have been told that our new engine for next year or the year after will be bonded--but that could change come next year or the year after that. Since most of this is up in the air right now, that's why I asked if we should put in on our narrative. In years past, including 2006, we scraped to get any equipment we could use, and continued to do with bad turnout gear, pagers and no brush truck. Again, we don't want to try to hide anything, but we see this year as an anomaly, and didn't know what to say/do about it. We still need either new scbas or an upgrade, and after shelling out over $300,000 this year, I don't see why we should be penalized for it.

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    This was done by a bond. Why this year, we don't know--but we see it as a rare windfall
    See that's the part that was missing from your first post. You had no sympathy from anyone on your first post. Maybe not after the 2nd one either, but to me bonds=tax, so usually seen as a 1 time event. Just have to explain it as such. And if it isn't signed into stone, don't say it's a definite, it's just a possibility.

    I don't see why we should be penalized for it.
    Well, lots of folks can't even get near a bond issue for anything. You're not going to get much sympathy here, you just told us they're floating a bond for the other stuff which you need. So you're solving 3 problems that few others can touch one of let alone 3. And my question is, if you need the SCBA but instead of floating a bond in 1-2 years on SCBA you're going to use that same $$ on truck? I've ridden many a truck that needed help (or a bullet) but without SCBA the $300K truck is still full of exterior FFs. Now if your packs are 13+ years old, then you need the grant here and now since the bond is over a year away. But less than 10, far from needy for new airpacks compared to a lot of folks. Grants are meant to buy what you can't handle after handling everything else yourself.

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    After going through most of the grant application, I see that the application requires budget information for the PAST three years, but not 2007. The 2007 budget and bonding for the equipment/truck are still up in the air, so what do I do about a proposed bond to purchase all stuff in 2007--don't mention it at all--or reference it some way in the narrative? I want to do the right thing, but also don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot for something tentative.

    Following BC79er's logic, we are trying to get our turnouts, pager, and apparatus up to where it should be--and the town can't handle any more, which is why we are applying for the grant for out SCBAs, which average 16 years in age.

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    If it isn't in stone then it's not going to happen. Same reason if you run fiscal years and your 2007-8 budget isn't approved then you take 2006-7, 2005-6, 2004-5 for the average. Anything can happen up until they put the gavel down. And if it's something the town is doing outside of your budget then it has nothing to do with your budget. You just have new stuff.

    Grants like to see some problems handled on your own, since grants are only meant for what you can't do on your own. Basically add a little more clarity to what you just posted and put that in. The over-riding factor is: 16 y/o SCBA.

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