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Fundraising needed for new Sharpsburg VFD fire truck

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department will have to depend on fundraising to get its new fire truck.

Councilman Lou Costanzo, who also serves as the fire chief, told officials last month that the department was rejected for a federal grant that would have helped get a new fire truck.

“That really, really hurts us,” Costanzo said.

Council President Karen Pastor, also is a member of the department, said several reasons were given for the denial. They included the size of the borough, Sharpsburg's mutual aid agreements with other communities, and that it already has an apparatus that can pump water.

Costanzo said several other local departments were also denied funding. Pastor said it is difficult for departments to get funding for trucks.

“You really have to be hard-pressed for an apparatus to get one,” Pastor said.

The department is trying to replace a truck that is about 30 years old. The borough instituted a .15-mill tax increase last year to generate funding for the department. The tax increase generates about $17,000 per year. The truck could cost about $430,000.

Fundraising efforts have included the Sharpsburg Fort Pitt Barbecue last month at James Sharp Landing. The department also received a donation from the Guyasuta Days Festival Committee.

Pastor said the department will need to continue to rely on help from the community to purchase the new truck.

Tom McGee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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