AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Fire Department repair shop is not where these rigs are supposed to be, but that’s the case with some of the Department’s trucks. 

“You’re dealing with equipment that’s eight to ten years old. You’re dealing with equipment that’s going to break down. One of the trucks already broke down at a fire, and they had to get a second one in,” says Commissioner John Clarke.  

That had Chief Antonio Burden going before the Public Safety Committee, which recommended using $6.9 million in Rescue Act funds to purchase new fire trucks and light vehicles.  

The Chief pointed out that commissioners did not approve money for fire trucks in the latest phase of the special purpose sales tax. 

“If it keeps us at a top-quality level of providing services, everything is beneficial if it’s used properly,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.  

But some commissioners don’t believe fire trucks are a proper use of Rescue Act dollars.  

“The fact is the federal government sent us American Rescue Act dollars to help people recover from the pandemic, so I don’t think $6 million from ARP is proper usage about what we are talking about,” says Commissioner Jordan Johnson.  

It is a good use of funds. It’s something we need. It’s actually for the betterment of all the citizens and property owners,” says Commissioner Clarke.  

The full commission is scheduled to make the final decision next week on whether to rescue the Fire Department’s vehicle issues.