Firefighters rebuffed in $10k Hope grant request

Hope’s Volunteer Fire Department is asking the town for just over $10,000 in additional assistance to get work done on their new fire station, but a town committee is recommending approval of only about a third of that amount.

Last night, the firefighters asked a town committee which oversees Economic Development Income Tax revenues to consider the grant that would allow the department to pass its building inspection and let firefighters occupy the building on Aiken Street.

But the committee instead only agreed to pay $3,600 for fire doors at the building. Committee members also are interested in offering a matching grant, where firefighters could be awarded more EDIT money if they raise matching funds from donations, fish fries and other fundraising events.

The recommendation next goes to the Hope Town Council which meets Monday evening.

For more than a year, volunteer firefighters and some town officials have been at odds over the financial stability of the department. Last year, the department went without a contract or payments from the town for most of the year after town leaders balked at paying the fire department, they feared wouldn’t be able to continue operations. Earlier this year, the fire department settled a lawsuit with its contractor over payments for work on the new fire station.