|Posted:||May 11, 2017 12:45 PM|
|From:||Representative P. Michael Sturla|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Grants to Fire Companies|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation to amend Title 35, Chapter 78 (Grants to Fire Companies and Volunteer Services) to increase the Fire Company Grant Program from $30 million to $35 million and create a population–based eligibility for paid municipal fire companies.
Currently, grants between $2,500 and $15,000 are provided per fire company regardless of whether they are volunteer, municipal or combination departments. This may be adequate for communities with one fire company. However, it is unfair to expect bigger municipalities with several fire houses to share a single $15,000 grant while there are some volunteer fire companies that receive multiple grants because they call their fire houses by different names.
Last year, combination and volunteer fire department received $26 million, volunteer emergency medical services received $3.6 million and career fire departments about $428,000. We need to make this program fairer and more equitable by amending the law to award grants to paid municipal fire companies based on the population of their municipalities with the following limits:
Under my plan, the 31 career departments could receive up to $3.5 million in total (10% of eligible money), which converts to $1.23 per capita for serving 2.8 million. Combination and volunteer departments would be eligible for $28 million, which converts to $2.86 per capita for serving 9.8 million.
For more flexibility and better preparation for any program expansions, my bill would also increase the Fire Commissioner’s allowable administrative costs from $800,000 to $1 million.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as HB1455