The Fire Company formed a Finance Committee in April 2005 to make financial plans for an addition to the fire hall and the purchase of a squad truck. It soon became clear that the two projects together would total one million dollars. Even though at one point the Committee members had been a month away from giving the go-ahead, by the fall of 2006 they arrived at the decision to completely halt the projects. It was too financially risky to proceed.
In January 2007 the Committee met several times with several Bird-in-Hand community leaders. What a difference their support and encouragement made to the firefighters whose morale was low! It was time to make wise decisions and get the momentum rolling again.
Some key ingredients were:
- positive feedback from the community to the Fire Company
- several large financial gifts
- success of “The House That Hands Built”
- dividing the building project into Phase I & II
- eliminating some items from the building plan
- moving the purchase of a new tanker from 2010 to 2013
When the new squad truck was housed and it was time to move into the new addition in January 2008, only $110,000 of the one million dollars remained to be paid. The Fire Company continued to steadily raise funds, dinner by dinner.
At the Turkey Supper in 2009, the Finance Committee signed the checks needed to pay off the last two loans. Debt free! The million dollars had been completely paid with cash donations and pledges, Fire Company savings, the Ladies Auxiliary’s contribution, time and materials donated to the building project, and “The House That Hands Built.” What a wonderful feeling! By careful financial management, future firefighters were spared the burden of a troublesome debt.