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South Boston firefighters, officials celebrate addition of $450,000 fire engine, paid in full
SoVaNow.com / April 13, 2017A big, beautiful truck —that’s how South Boston Fire Chief Steve Phillips described South Boston’s newest fire engine, which was dedicated Monday afternoon at the fire station on Broad Street.
Firefighters joined Town Council members and town staff in officially accepting the new fire truck.
The truck, which the town bought back in February, cost $450,000. (After being completely outfitted, the cost rose to just at a half million dollars). Council initially planned to pay for the truck in $75,000 annual installments for the next seven years, but the town was able to pay the entire cost in this year’s budget with careful financial planning by all departments.
Phillips thanked all firefighters for their efforts, pointing specifically to the work done by Daniel Clark in getting the new vehicle outfitted.
He also paid special tribute to veteran retired firefighters Joe Talley, William Murray and Sput Jones for their many years of service to the department and for setting a vision for the department in coming years.
The dedication ceremony was conducted by department Chaplain Randy Holmes, who led participants in the firefighter’s prayer: “We give Thee thanks for the opportunity to dedicate this fire engine and ask that it may always be blessed with Thy presence and protection. May all who serve in this department always be mindful of Thee and Thy love.”
Following the truck dedication, Council members moved to Council Chambers on Yancey Street where they hosted a public hearing on the town’s advertised $10.8 million FY2017-2018 budget. No one commented on the budget, which includes no tax rate or fee increases.
In other business Monday night, Council approved an ordinance to allow for the payment of $5,000 bonuses for new employees of the police department who have received their certifications and bonuses of $2,000 for new firefighters who are certified.
All recipients of the bonuses will have to remain in their jobs in the town for at least one year to be eligible.
Council also approved a donation of $500 to Vinny Sarnataro to sponsor the first-ever Strawberry Festival on May 13. The inaugural festival will be held at Halifax Square Shopping Center.
Sarnataro said the day long festival will feature local musical entertainment, a talent show, door prizes and an antique vehicle cruise-in as well as the celebration of strawberries by local growers.
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