OU Announces Additional Contribution For Fire Equipment

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Ohio University will continue its financial contributions to the city of Athens to benefit the safety of the university and the city.

On Monday, OU President Roderick J. McDavis announced that he has authorized an extended five-year contribution to the city for financial assistance toward the future capital improvement purchase of a new pumper truck for the Athens Fire Department.

The announcement comes approximately a month after members of Athens City Council took a lunch meeting with McDavis and top members of his administration.

At that meeting, as previously reported by the Athens Messenger, Councilman Steve Patterson asked McDavis about the possibility of OU contributing toward the purchase of at least one new pumper truck for the fire department. OU is contributing $50,000 per year for a total investment of $250,000 to pay for the city’s new ladder truck.

“I am pleased to be able to extend the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) appendix for Fire Protection with this action. The University community recognizes the need for fire protection services and we want to support the city’s important work in this area. Ensuring the safety and security for our shared community is of paramount concern to Mayor Wiehl and me,” said McDavis in a statement released on Monday.

“The City of Athens applauds this gracious act from Ohio University. We operate fire protection services from our general fund and this financial assistance will allow us to proceed with designing a new fire pumper truck for the Department,” said Mayor Paul Wiehl in a news release. “Ohio University’s recognition of their demand on these resources is welcomed as we continue to strive for a great community though these committed efforts.”

During Monday’s special session of Athens City Council, Wiehl spoke of the contributions from the university.

“We know we need to buy one and we know we need the funds. The conversation has evolved between Dr. McDavis and myself about the safety of the community,” said Wiehl.

The original Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 2012 and included the “Ladder Truck Contribution by Ohio University in fiscal years 2012-2016” as Appendix A-1. That appendix will be updated to reflect this additional five-year commitment. The MOU encompasses Safety and Services, Land Use Planning, Emergency Management, Joint Infrastructure and Utilities, as well as other appendices. Other recent collaborations include the trial run opening of Bobcat Lane, as well as the South Green Connector Roadway to Mill Street.