Six years of planning, saving and making due have finally paid off for Kingsville's volunteer firefighters—the company was recently awarded a federal loan of nearly $3.6 for renovations and expansion.
"Right now, we're pretty darn happy," Chief Michael Berna said. "We're just a small fire company, and it's been challenging to get enough money to cover everything."
The 40-year loan for $3,599,000, at an interest rate of 3.375 percent, was awarded by the United Stated Department of Agriculture Rural Development last week, said Kathy Bisner, a USDA representative.
The loan process was competitive and involved an application, according to Bisner.
County Councilman David Marks, who wrote a letter of support during the process, said, "The Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company is a critical resource for both Baltimore and Harford counties, and I am thrilled the funding came through."
Problems with the existing fire company building on Bellvue Avenue—ranging from a lack of showers and sleeping areas to a deteriorating roof—have escalated in recent years. The original structure was built in 1956.
"We considered moving to a new location, but the company felt it was best to stay where we are," Berna said.
Planned renovations include replacing the roof, adding classrooms and living space and expanding the holding area for fire trucks, which will bring the structure up to code.
"This will enhance our ability to get on the road more quickly," he said.
Berna said it's unlikely that the company will accept the full loan amount, and they are still looking to reduce renovation costs wherever possible.
The company is expected to break ground in 2013.
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