Woodbury Has Burning Desire For New Fire Station

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Round 1 was a draw for the Town of Woodbury in its fight for a grant to build a new fire station.

Now it is hoping for a knockout in Round 2.

Earlier this year the town applied for a Station Construction Grant (SCG) through FEMA, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.

The SCG was established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to provide financial assistance for fire departments to build or modify fire stations, which will enhance the departments response to their community.

Town officials were hoping to receive word on the status of the grant application in late September. However, when the first round of grant recipient announcements was released on Oct. 2, Woodbury was not on the list.

Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick feels the need for a new fire station is obvious, and the request for federal stimulus funds to build one has merit.

“The fire station is old, dilapidated and we’ve outgrown our needs and we don’t have the room that we need in our current fire station,” Patrick said. “The building is really in disrepair and we have more firemen than we have ever had before.”

The current Woodbury Fire Hall on West Water Street has been in use for nearly 50 years, since 1960, Patrick said. Patrick said it is no longer adequate for the needs of the department.

“We have to have all of the training to keep all of our firemen certified and we don’t have the facilities there now to do that. A new fire station would have a training room there,” Patrick said.

Patrick said a new, modern fire station would help facilitate response times to fires and also reduce the department’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating another point.

There are two locations that may possibly be options for the fire station if the fire grant is approved. Leo Parker has offered property in front of the Woodbury Co-op, and Christine Dillon owns property located off West Main Street, (Masey Drive) down past Tate Veterinarian Clinic. While the grant would pay for construction of the station, city would have to purchase the property.

FEMA officials said Friday the program office is still considering additional applications for award. These announcements should be made in the near future.

A total of $210,000,000 was made available for the SCG program under the economic stimulus package.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants (SCG) provides financial assistance directly to fire departments on a competitive basis to build new or modify existing fire stations in order for departments to enhance their response capability and protect the community they serve from fire and fire-related hazards. The authority for SCG is derived from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
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