Wake Electric helps the Youngsville Fire Department buy a new truck
By Angela Perez
The Youngsville Volunteer Fire Department has added a brand new fire truck to its fleet, thanks to Wake Electric’s commitment to rural economic development. The electric cooperative provided the fire department with a $975,000 zero-interest loan funded by the co-op’s revolving loan fund as well as loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. The fire department added a $33,000 equity investment toward the roughly $1 million needed to purchase a 100-foot platform aerial apparatus fire truck.
The Youngsville VFD service territory covers 58.3 square miles in a fast-growing section of Franklin County. The VFD operates three firehouses in its district. The new fire truck will expand its ability to suppress fires, protect property and provide life safety assistance as population, housing and businesses increase in this once all-rural area.
“We’re proud to provide this opportunity to improve life in the communities we serve,” said Fred Keller, manager of member services. “Wake Electric has a 75-year history of investing in the places we provide electricity. That’s the co-op way.”
The REDLG program provides zero-interest loans and grants to electric cooperatives. Cooperatives then lend the money to local businesses to support rural development.
As the fire department repays the loan to Wake Electric, the co-op will repay the USDA loan. The portion of the funds provided by grants or by Wake Electric’s revolving loan fund, once repaid, will go back into the revolving loan fund, which will be available to assist with future rural economic development and job creation projects in the co-op’s service area.