022714 CM 0013csRSPRINGFIELD – In 2004, the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program (FTRLP) was created to provide zero-interest loans of up to $250,000 to fire departments to help cover the cost of purchasing a new fire truck. The price tag of a new truck has increased over the years and lawmakers believe the amount the program can loan should follow suit.

A new proposal passed by State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill) on Tuesday would increase the amount FTRLP can loan local fire departments from $250,000 to $350,000.

“The original intent of this program was to help ease the financial burden for fire departments, especially smaller volunteer departments,” Manar said. “I believe as the cost of a new truck has increased, so should the money available through the loan program.”

The loans must be repaid at a rate of at least 5 percent a year with total payoff within 20 years. In fiscal year 2014, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal was authorized to distribute $6 million for the program.

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