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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


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:
  • $25,000 for population up to 20,000
  • $50,000 for population from 20,001 to 40,000
  • $75,000 for population from 40,001 to 60,000
  • $100,000 for population from 60,001 to 80,000
  • $125,000 for population from 80,001 to 100,000
  • $150,000 for population from 100,001 to 200,000
  • $400,000 for population from 200,001 to 900,000
  • $1,500,000 for population over 900,000

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