By Brian Conlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
11:41 AM EDT, June 6, 2012
The English Consul Volunteer Fire Department received a Baltimore County grant Wednesday that paid off the remaining $97,000 balance on a loan the department took out to purchase Engine 372 in 2006.
English Consul Chief Frank March said the 68-year-old department had about two more $50,000 yearly payments to make to have the $350,000 engine paid off.
The grant will save the department about $9,000 in interest, according to a release from Baltimore County.
"It frees up a lot of funds that we were using to pay the yearly payment that we can divert back into the firehouse and other things within the firehouse," March said.
"We want to divert the payments to stuff that needs to be repaired in the firehouse and bring it back up to snuff," March said.
The paint on the outside of the firehouse, for example, is peeling and could use a new coat, March said.
The money the department will save should also aid the department's hunt for a location for a new firehouse or renovations to the current one, which they have outgrown, March said.
Wednesday morning, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Fire Department Chief John Hohman visited the department on Michigan Avenue to present them with a check and tour the new engine.
In January, the department was one of 33 county volunteer departments and 25 career stations that received $1.75 million in federal grants to purchase new automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).
The grant money came at an opportune time for the local department, as one of its two AEDs had become obsolete.
The English Consul Volunteer Fire Department covers a one-square-mile area along Annapolis Road from the Anne Arundel County line to the Baltimore City border and from the Patapsco River to the Baltimore Washington Parkway.