The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

April 28, 2014

Firefighters praised for BJ's battle

DANVILLE — Montour County’s commissioners praised area volunteer firefighters for what they do.

Several firefighters, including five fire chiefs, attended the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday night. They were on hand to support a countywide open burning ban which continues through May 10 and others were there to speak about a proposal to fund a new rescue truck with Community Development Block Grant funds.

“I appreciate all you do. We had a huge fire on Mill Street besides a brush fire and accidents. After the fire, there is cleaning up of equipment. I know what you do and I thank you,” Commissioners Chairman Trevor Finn, also a volunteer firefighter, told the firefighters. Fire heavily damaged BJ’s Steak and Rib House on Mill Street on April 20.

“We are so lucky to have you,” Commissioners Vice Chairman Jack Gerst told the group. “When I was younger, I fought fires. We can’t thank you enough,” he said.

Commissioner Jerry Ward said he was also a firefighter “way back when.”

 “You guys have come a long way — the professionalism attitude and work ethic in protecting our citizens,” Ward said. “We thank you for what you do.”

The commissioners also held a public hearing on ways to spend Community Development Block grant funds estimated at $211,700 to be received by the county this year.

Receipt of project summaries are due May 30, said Jamie Shrawder, of SEDA-COG which handles the grant program for the county.

The commissioners will finalize projects June 24 and hold a final public hearing and approve the application for the grant July 8,

Shrawder explained the grant has to benefit 51 percent of people with low- to moderate-incomes.

Projects proposed include storm water work and demolition of a home which has been vacant for five years in Washingtonville, purchase of a rescue truck in Danville and continuation of a project along Crawford Road in Derry Township.

John Buckenberger, of the Washies Fire Company, said the new rescue truck would be a heavy rescue truck used throughout the county for rescues from vehicles, in confined spaces and during structure collapses. He said Danville borough has committed money for the purchase through its truck fund with other money coming from the sale of a rescue truck and a pending grant from Danville.

Shrawder said the fire company would have to conduct a large survey to show the truck purchase will benefit a majority of people with low- to moderate-incomes. She can assist with the survey.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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