By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A stimulus to fire station plans?
Placeholder Image
MONROE - The federal stimulus package includes money to build or improve fire stations.

Monroe Fire Chief Daryl Rausch would like some of that money for a proposed second fire station. But, he told City of Monroe Board of Public Works on Monday that he needs "fairly firm numbers on the cost to build."

The board authorized Rausch to seek quotes for several steps toward the development of a west-side fire station. The chief can seek quotes for engineering and design work, as well as for development of state-approved building plans for the proposed station.

Rausch distributed to board members the latest conceptual design of the proposed station, about 11,000 square feet, created in-house. He said changes would be implemented as funding becomes available.

Engineering was not expected to begin until late 2009, according to a proposed time-line submitted by Rausch in 2007. Building design and grant applications were planned for 2008-2009.

"I am not advocating building this year," Rausch said.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 has $210 million set aside for Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFGs) specifically for construction or modification of fire stations.

ARRA was passed Feb. 13 by Congress on Feb. 13 and signed into law Feb. 17 by President Obama. The AFG application process opens in July, and awards will be made in the second half of 2009.

To ensure that FEMA distributes the ARRA grant money to as many fire stations as possible, FEMA cannot award an AFG for more than $15 million. FEMA can reserve $5 million for program administration.

Awards are made on the same basis as past AFGs. Applications are first scored by computers for criteria, then undergo a peer review by firefighters from across the country.

The City of Monroe set aside land on West 17th Street for the proposed second fire station in 2008. A dedicated location enables the fire department to apply for state and federal grant programs.

The proposed second fire station is intended to cut emergency fire reflex time to the west side by half, in line with the National Fire Protection Association standards of 6-8 minutes.