The most pressing need right now in the Mount Olive Fire Department is the replacement of a 23-year-old pumper that is beginning to have major maintenance problems.
Officials say it will cost an estimated $650,000 to purchase a new one.
“It is beginning to leak in places where it should not and the costs of repairs are escalating,” said town manager Charles Brown.
He said the town board is going to have to make a decision on how to handle it.
Brown said he is working with the Local Government Commission on the best way to resolve the issue.
“We still have debt service on three trucks in the department now,” he added. “The question is, should we just pay off those three and then just buy the new truck on a lower interest rate with a short term loan?”
He said that is probably the route the town board will recommend taking.
The town does have $550,000 set aside for a new fire department, but the town manager says it is a decision of the town board whether it can be used for current pressing problems.
The town just recently sold the National Guard Armory to the Mount Olive Pickle Company for $550,000.
The money is being held in a special account designated to be used for buying land and constructing a new facility sometime in the near future.