Fire District Development Grant Denied
Grant Would Have Funded Major Portion Of Proposed New Fire Station
Stevens Fire District #1 recently was denied a $905,000.00 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The CDBG was going to be used to help pay for 1/3 of the cost to replace the fire station in Suncrest. Only $11 million dollars of CDBG funds were available this year, with over $31 million requested.
Lynn Kohn, the CDBG project manager with the Washington State Department of Commerce, indicated that there was nothing wrong with the Stevens 1 request, but that the CDBG fund ran out of money. A bulk of the grant money—64% went to water and wastewater projects. Only one fire station project was awarded money during this year’s process.
Stevens Fire District 1 ranked 12th on the list that awarded money to 11 projects.
Over the past several years, grant funding nationwide has continued to become scarcer.
While the grant denial puts a large obstacle in the way of getting this project moving forward, District 1 will continue to look at ways to keep the project alive. Architects have already completed the needs assessment and the basic floor plan/site layout. Those same architects have been asked to review the plan to see if it can be completed in phases, with the apparatus bays being constructed first, then the additional portion of the station built later.
The District can also consider resubmitting the CDBG as most of the major work on this year’s grant can carry over to the following year. The Department of Commerce has warned, however, that next year’s pool of money could be reduced even further, and they are considering a $500,000 maximum grant award.