Last Modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7:25 PM
DEQUINCY — Grant money allotted to help municipalities recover from recent hurricanes has been used to buy a new fire truck.
The $267,100 used to purchase the truck came from $14.8 million given to Calcasieu Parish by the state Office of Community Development, City Planner Mary Jo Bayles said in a news release.
“The allotment is part of more that $1 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds received by the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for damages inflicted by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” she said.
Fire Chief Johnny Copeland said the new truck will enable the department to retire its reserve truck, a 1961 Mack.
Bayles said the old truck may be displayed as a museum exhibit or converted into a play area for kids.
Copeland said about $5,000 will need to be spent to finish equipping the new truck, which was delivered to the city Monday. He said the truck could help improve the city’s fire rating, set by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana. PIAL assigns fire ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best rating. Copeland said DeQuincy now holds a fire rating of 4.
“It may not move us up a whole number in our rating, but it could give us a point or two,” he said. Improved fire ratings could ultimately reduce the premiums city residents pay for their homeowner’s insurance.
Mayor Lawrence Henagan said he believes the new truck was an excellent way to use the grant money.
“With this new truck, it’s going to give us more access for firefighting, and it will go to help our fire rating, which could lower people’s insurance,” Henagan said. “It’s really a win-win situation.”
As for the old truck, it will be honored with a retirement ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today at City Hall.