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Cash-strapped fire company buys tavern to raise funds

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  • #16
    A very novel solutino to a continuing problem. As I read into this one, the FD ownes the building and the business, but the Avis Fire Co. Civic Association actually runs it. I don't know anything about the politics down PA way, but up around here we looked into something that in the end would have amounted to the same as what has been done in Avis, except we weren't looking to buy a business. Actually we were looking for grant money, and one of the only ways that we were going to get the "big money" was to form an Association, that was separate and outside the FD.

    We are still working on the association thing, but it would seem to me that Avis FD has licked that problem and potentially licked their budgetary problems too, which is better than some of us can boast of.

    On the part of the Bank and mortgage etc, I agree its a risky venture, but if they can make a "go" of it, well the all the power to them.... GOOD LUCK AVIS!!!!!!!!
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    • #17
      An Update....

      The inn purchase was completed June 18. Due to regulations of
      the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, a separate organization had
      to be formed to run the inn, so the Avis Fire Co. Civic Association
      was created. The fire company bought the building and leases it to
      the civic association, which runs the tavern and rents the
      apartments in the building.
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dalmatian90
        On a more serious note, what is Pennsy's problem? I know it's common in many areas, but you sure doesn't seem like many of those departments get any meaningful tax support.
        I'll give everyone a little run-down of the Pennsylvania setup ... Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth. Back in 1787, the idea of a Commonwealth, where power is pushed down to the lowest level of government possible, sounded great (Power to the People!). There are, at a minimum, 900 fire departments in Pennsylvania (and these are only the ones listed on the Pennsylvania Fire & Emergency Services Institute's website as having their own website). In actuality, there could be twice as many. This means over 900 different chiefs ... over 900 different organizations all doing their own thing ... over 900 different organizations trying to get a piece of the pie. Now, you're saying, "So what, take all of them, get rid of the ones you don't need, and consolidate." This is where the whole Commonwealth thing comes in. Since power is pushed down to the local level, every single township, borough, village, and city, has the option of having their own fire protection. And in an effort to keep up w/ the Jones', they all do, and no one outside of their municipality (however small it might be) can tell them how to run their little show. As a result, you have power hungry people who refuse to give up their power, and around and around we go. This is where the state legislature needs to come in, and say enough is enough, hire a State Fire Administrator who would appoint County Fire Administrators, who would then run County fire departments. This would save literally millions of dollars, and everyone would be much better off.

        Now you say, "Ok, that sucks, but how does this affect funding?" Since each municipality gets to have their own fire department, then each municipality is also responsible for funding their fire department. The Village of West Bumduck with a population of 500 could care less about funding their fire department. The town hasn't burnt down yet, so they don't care. Even when there is house fire that turns into swimming pool, they all cry and moan together and sing the praises of the volunteers who did the best that they could. Everyone then goes to the chicken BBQ that weekend because the volunteers did such a wonderful job of filling up Mr. and Mrs. Doe's new swimming pool (which is also full of roof shingles and charred rafters) ... but three weeks later, the FD is left wondering if they'll be able to put diesel fuel in their 1968 open-cab engine.
        Originally posted by Dalmatian90
        And even my fire company conducts four major fundraisers a year (BBQ, Car Parking & Bingo at the Fair, and a Golf Tourney) -- but largely that's to augment decent public funding.
        That is great that you guys are able to get the public support so that you can concentrate on training, etc. and only have to run four major fundraisers a year. My department is fortunate also. However, most departments in Pennsylvania are not. A department 10 miles away from here scrapped their carnival this year because in 2002, their three week carnival, which included literally thousands of volunteer man-hours, netted them exactly $47.52. The chicken BBQ's, pancake breakfasts, pork and saurkraut dinners, and Bingo will continue to be put on by volunteers, every single week, so these volunteers can then go out and keep the town from burning down.

        Stay Safe

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        • #19
          I must agree with PA........it is a shame that things even had to get this way for any department........
          IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
          Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
          ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
          RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
          LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
          I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
          "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
          http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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          • #20
            Count me among those who think its a crying shame when ANY firefighter has to worry more about raising cash to keep a department operating then running emergency calls.
            IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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            • #21
              This sounds like a very interesting business project. If run properly it could really help the FD (I say "if" because we all know that this could very well turn out to be another political power struggle, especially if it is a committee looking after business operations).

              Anyhow, there could be additional funds raised as a spin off. Lets say they open it up a "Fire Service" based Planet Hollywood, (I’ll let everyone else come up with a good name).

              T-shirt, hat and patch sales have the potential to become profitable.

              Not to mention events, like a County Chili Cook-off, where every department in the county gets to enter their ‘special’ chili, with the winner getting the "5 Alarm" trophy. I am sure there are dozens, if not hundreds, of ideas that they could use to bring people in. (I know I would make the drive for a Fire Department Chili Cook-off) And that is what it would all be about, getting people in. Once they are in business will improve. Once business improves, so with the operational capability of the FD.
              "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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              • #22
                Well said PAVol I have been enlightened
                IAFF

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