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Ontonagon gets grant for fire rescue truck

ONTONAGON — Ontonagon will be able to replace a more than 30-year-old fire department rescue truck through a state grant for municipalities in financial distress.

The village received $227,995 from the Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships (FDCVT) Grant Program. It will be used to replace a truck from 1989, said Interim Village Manager William DuPont.

“It’ll get our department a properly-running vehicle that we’re not going to have any issues with it breaking down,” he said. “We want to help people, and I think it’s big for this community to get a grant of any kind.”

Receiving the grant frees up money in the fire department budget to be able to purchase a new hall door and washer/dryer unit for the department, which the department had also applied for, DuPont said. Ontonagon had also unsuccessfully applied for a travel lift at the marina.

The department received five letters of support in its rescue truck application, including from the Rockland Fire Department, Ontonagon County and its sheriff’s department.

The village must buy the truck by Sept. 30, 2025. It won’t take nearly that long, DuPont said.

“We’d like to have that wrapped up by the end of the year,” he said.

DuPont said the grant provides the village with positive momentum, coming on the heels of its recent grant program through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency to remove an old culvert and install a footbridge near the Rose Island Channel. Initial work on that project will start in mid-August and be completed in November. Site cleanup will be finished in May or June 2022.

“The village is very excited to be getting this,” DuPont said. “Things are happening in our backyard after we’ve been in neutral for quite a while.”

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