Hampstead receives $475K grant

May 13, 2010

HAMPSTEAD - A $475,000 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security will buy a new firetruck for the Fire Department, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's office announced yesterday.

"It's great news for the town," fire Chief Michael Carrier said.

The grant was awarded through the vehicle acquisition program, part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, according to Shaheen's office.

Carrier said the money will help the town purchase a "quint" - a firetruck that serves several purposes. The ladder truck can carry additional ladders, fire hoses and water. It can also pump water, he said.

"We're going to be able to replace three unsafe, extremely old Fire Department vehicles with one vehicle, so it's a cost-effective plan as well," he said.

One of the vehicles to be replaced did not have seat belts, so the new truck will help keep both firefighters and residents safe, Carrier said. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

"They found that Hampstead's request was a priority, so we greatly appreciate that and respect their decision," he said.

Residents voted at Town Meeting to take $33,650 from a capital reserve fund to pay for Hampstead's 5 percent grant match, Carrier said. The money could only be used if the grant was awarded, he said. The grant was less than the $675,000 the town requested, but Carrier said the town would obtain truck bids and see whether the grant and the capital reserve fund money covers the cost.

"We're going to see how the bids come in, and then we'll make the necessary adjustments," he said.

Carrier said he expected to seek bids next month.

Other local towns, including Derry, Salem, Londonderry, Kingston, Danville and Windham, have received money through the program. Hampstead received $59,375 from the program earlier this year to pay for a vehicle exhaust removal system at the fire station, which removes vehicle fumes from the building.

By:  Jillian Jorgensen
Source: Lawrence Eagle Tribune