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Latrobe VFD facts

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I would like to clarify a few items in the news story “All Latrobe departments earmarked for changes” (June 26 and TribLIVE.com) about happenings at the June 24 Latrobe Council agenda-planning session concerning the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD):

• The LVFD receives tax dollars from the city via the city budget. This financial information for the LVFD was provided to Bill Gaughn, fire consultant for Delta Development Group Inc.'s five-year city management plan.

• Each of the five hose houses in the city is an incorporated entity within the commonwealth.

• These hose houses raise additional funds, on their own, via ticket and sub sales, bingo, etc., to purchase additional equipment necessary to properly, efficiently and safely serve the city and surrounding community. This money is not tax dollars and is not part of the city's budget — and therefore outside Delta Development's scope of analyzing city income and expenses.

• Except for a few pieces of fire equipment purchased with city money more than a decade ago, each hose house has purchased its equipment vehicles, tools, radios, gear and supplies with the money it has raised over the years and through its volunteer efforts.

• The hose houses that are 501(c)3-certified are required, by law, to file federal tax forms each year that detail their respective income and expenses. These filings are public information.

Mike Skapura

The writer is vice president of the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and a Latrobe councilman.

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