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Centerville continues saving toward ladder truck for fire department; honors essay winners

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The City Council has set aside more funds for the future purchase of a ladder truck for its fire department.

The council agreed to set aside $12,000 again this year for the ladder truck as it has done each year since beginning to save in 2014.

In addition, Fire Chief Jason Jones said he was giving $3,000 to the fund from money raised through the department’s annual photo-portrait fundraiser.

Officials said there is now just under $66,000 in the account for the ladder truck.

Mayor John Harley said Centerville will get $500,000 for the truck from funds collected through the recently passed countywide special purpose local option sales tax.

Jones said he anticipates it will be three years before the truck is bought. He said the SPLOST also includes $3.5 million for a new fire station Centerville needs and which will also be necessary before his department can house the truck.

He said a new ladder truck costs around $750,000 but the city will also look at refurbished trucks which are several hundred thousand dollars cheaper.

Councilman Cameron Andrews, who said he was for buying the truck, did question if the city might get caught with too money much in the city’s ladder truck fund that might not be needed.

Harley said funds from the city for the truck were designated year by year and that council members could change the amount given for any year and could vote to re-designate the funds if needed.

Also during the council’s regular month meeting Tuesday, members recognized winners of its Georgia Cities Week essay contest, Thomas Middle School sixth-graders Kayla Poole, Aunesty Edmond and Kamil Williams.

Harley said the theme of the essay was “If I Were Mayor” and complemented the three on producing their winning essays during busy end-of-the-year testing at the school and on their understanding of city government.

“They really do get what being an elected official is all about,” he said. “It’s about working for the citizens.”

Each girl was given a gift bag and honored by being seated at the front of council chambers with Poole leading the meeting’s pledge of allegiance, Edmond gaveling the meeting to order and Williams gaveling the meeting to a close.

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