MOUNT CARMEL - Borough council approved a resolution to loan Anthracite Steam Fire Company $188,000, thus setting in motion the end of a two-year battle to figure out what to do with a ladder truck too tall to fit inside the bay.

The 10-year loan at an annual interest rate of 1 percent will help pay off another $101,000 loan for the ladder truck, and the rest will be put toward construction costs to remodel part the fire company's building, which is estimated to cost $137,000. Anthracite will be putting up the rest of the money for the project.

"I'm happy there's light at the end of the tunnel right now," said Anthracite trustee Jack Williams Jr., following the meeting.

No one realized Anthracite's 2011 KME Aerialcat - which is 11-feet, 8-inch tall and includes a 100-foot ladder that was built to 2010 National Fire Protection Agency standards - wouldn't fit in the existing building on Market Street adjacent to town park until it was too late.

The truck has been sitting in the Mount Carmel Rescue Squad truck room for two years, which has been inconvenient for all parties involved and has damaged rescue squad property. Williams and other Anthracite members have been working on a solution since the arrangement was made.

The plan, designed by Mid-Penn Engineering, Lewisburg, is to take out the steel beams in the basement below the truck room, fill in the basement with dirt and lower the truck room floor by 2 feet. That would leave approximately 6 inches between the ceiling and the truck.

Williams said the plans should be finalized soon, and the remodeling could be done by the end of July.

Under the old loan from Union National Bank, Anthracite had an interest rate of 5 percent and was paying $23,200 a year. Under the loan from the borough with an interest rate of 1 percent, Anthracite will be paying $19,780 a year.

Williams said he and the other Anthracite members appreciate the rescue squad for assisting them in their time of need, and appreciate borough council for working with them.

"It's going to save us a lot of money," he said.

The board also approved changes to the tax rates, but the rates are not increasing.

Instead, the tax rate for street lighting, which was at 2 1/2 mills, was reduced to 0 mills, and will be paid for out of the general fund.

The 2 1/2 mills was added to street improvements, which was at 2 1/2 mills, bringing the tax rate up to 5 mills.

The tax rate for general purposes remains at 27 mills and the tax rate for the library remains at .25 mills.

In other business, the borough appointed:

- Patrolman David J. Donkochik to the position of police corporal.

- Patrolman Christopher J. Buhay to the position of police lieutenant.

- American Hose and Chemical Fire Company President James Reed as borough fire chief, Clover Hose Fire Company Captain Bing Cimino as first assistant fire chief and Anthracite member Jack Williams Jr. as second assistant fire chief.