Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company will be honoring its ladies auxiliary when it dedicates its new KME tanker at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 21.

The dedication program will be held during the fire company's 33rd annual block party. A fire truck parade featuring over 40 fire companies will precede the dedication program beginning at 2 p.m.

The parade will form at the fire station on Fairyland Road, take a turn onto Harrity Road and then to Reber Street. Then it will turn onto Main Road and turn at Penn Street to Fairyland Road, where the lineup will head back to the fire company for the dedication program at 4 p.m.

The block party will be held Friday, July 19, Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21, on the fire company grounds at 2440 Fairyland Road, Lehighton, Franklin Township.

Each day there will be special events, live entertainment and plenty of food and activities.

On Friday night, the party will open with seafood dinners from 4 to 7 p.m., with Niteflyte entertaining from 7 to 10 p.m. The seafood dinners include breaded haddock and shrimp, baked haddock and chicken finger platters.

Saturday's events include a garden tractor pull, and Boomerang taking the stage from 7 to 11 p.m. The evening will end with a huge fireworks spectacular display at 11 p.m.

Sunday will also feature Jump Start entertaining from 6 to 9 p.m.

During the weekend there will be an artist doing cartoon portraits, a large variety of food, bingo, book fair, games, cash drawings and Chinese auction, plus many giveaways. The Chinese auction features 200 prizes with a combined value of nearly $7,000, noted Betty Wolfe, who chairs the auction.

All prizes will be awarded at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Bruce Wolfe, fire chief, noted that the firefighters chose to recognize the ladies auxiliary by dedicating the new truck to them because of their dedication and hard work.

"Because of them, we will have our truck paid for," said Wolfe.

The purchase price of the new tanker was $266,000. The fire company took out a loan for five years for $110,000 and each year there is a loan due of $23,400. That loan will be active for another four more years.

In addition, there is a second Pa. State loan for $100,000, which is for 15 years. Each month the fire company must pay $650, which will take another 14 years to pay off.

The ladies auxiliary has taken on this obligation each month. Since last year, the ladies auxiliary has paid 10 loan payments totaling $6,435. They also paid $13,500 extra on the principal, which resulted in a savings of $1,350 in interest.

The tanker truck was delivered to the fire company last year.

In addition, the fire company is still paying for its KME 2008 rescue pumper. The rescue pumper had a purchase price of $435,000. The fire company borrowed $200,000 for five years and also borrowed $160,000 for 15 years. The $200,000 loan for five years is paid off by paying $41,400 per year for five years. They paid it off six months early and saved $500. On the second loan, they still owe $1,100 each month for 10 more years.

In total they paid $701,000 for the two trucks, with loans totaling $570,000. They had saved $131,000 for the down payment before actually ordering the trucks.

In addition to paying for the trucks, the fire company spent $12,000 in the past year for a freezer, washing machine and repairs on the walk-in cooler and stoves.

"This is an extremely busy weekend for us," said Wolfe. "We've been waiting to dedicate our truck and we chose to dedicated the tanker to the ladies auxiliary because they deserve the recognition,"