State distributes aid to VFDs and pension funds
By Rodney L. Sherman
CLARION NEWS Editor
Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor recently announced his department has authorized the release of $159,266 in state aid to Clarion County fire departments.
The money is part of more than $54 million in state aid to help dedicated volunteer firefighters save lives and protect property across Pennsylvania.
"This crucial funding will help more than 1,800 volunteer firefighter relief associations to provide equipment, training and insurance for Pennsylvania's volunteer first responders," DeFoor said. "At a time when many volunteers are spending more time raising money than fighting fires, these state funds are more important than ever."
A total of 2,517 municipalities received $54,092,259 for distribution to volunteer firefighter relief associations, which are legally separate from the fire departments that they support.
The funding comes from a 2 percent state tax on fire insurance premiums purchased by Pennsylvania residents from out-of-state insurance companies.
The amount of tax revenue available for distribution varies from year to year. The money is distributed to the local municipality which then passes it on to the volunteer fire department or departments serving the municipality.
Clarion County funding totals for 2021 are as follows:
Ashland: $4,590; Beaver: $7,105; Brady: $274; Callensburg: $665; Clarion Borough: $18,155; Clarion Township: $14,707
East Brady: $3,357; Elk: $6,161; Farmington: $9,243; Foxburg: $832; Hawthorn: $1,615; Highland: $2,676; Knox Borough: $4,085
Knox Township: $4,053; Licking: $2,477; Limestone: $8,057; Madison: $4,373; Millcreek: $2,241; Monroe: $7,830
New Bethlehem: $3,560; Paint: $7,785; Perry: $3,841; Piney: $1,891; Porter: $5,851; Redbank: $5,486
Richland: $2,152; Salem: $3,409; Shippenville: $1,635; Sligo: $2,346; St. Petersburg: $1,335
Strattanville: $1,979; Toby: $3,819; and Washington: $8,627
Clarion County is served by volunteer fire departments based in Callensburg, Clarion, East Brady, Farmington Township, Hawthorn, Knox, Limestone Township, Millcreek Township, New Bethlehem, Perry Township, Rimersburg, Shippenville, St. Petersburg, Strattanville and Washington Township.
The state also contributes to qualified pension funds for retired police and non-uniformed personnel maintained by municipalities.
In 2021 pension funding, the state has distributed $254,041, including:
Beaver: $4,798; Clarion Borough: $119,932; Clarion Township; $17,084; Farmington; $16,356; Knox Borough: $14,708; Limestone: $16,745
New Bethlehem: $30,864; Paint: $4,872; Porter: $9,595; and Rimersburg: $7,343.