February 2, 2010

Reed, Whitehouse, Kennedy Announce $5.2 Million for East Providence Fire Department

WASHINGTON, DC — In an effort to enhance Rhode Island’s emergency response preparedness, create construction jobs, and boost the local economy, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy today announced that the East Providence Fire Department will receive $5,297,222 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. This Recovery Act grant will support the renovation of the Department’s Station #1, located at 913 Broadway Street, and Station #4, located at 66 Wampanoag Trail, both of which are over 50 years old, in disrepair, and require upgrading in order to more effectively meet the needs of first responders.

Reed, Whitehouse, and Kennedy wrote letters in support of the East Providence Fire Department’s application for this award.

“This is a smart investment that will help create construction jobs and save taxpayers on annual maintenance costs while improving the station’s ability to serve the public,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who recently secured over $ 1 million in federal funding to help the East Providence Fire Department upgrade its communications equipment, expand fire prevention and public safety education programs, and protect waterfront communities.

“Our firefighters are the invaluable first line of protection for our lives and our property, but strained state and local budgets have left many of our firehouses in disrepair. This is yet another example of stimulus funds providing much-needed support to keep our essential public services operational,” said Whitehouse.

“I was pleased to support the East Providence Fire Department’s application under the Recovery Act’s fire station construction grant program. The two aging stations are in dire need of repairs and upgrades, and these federal funds will ensure that East Providence’s first responders have modern, safe facilities as a base of operations. Additionally, these funds will support the growth of engineering and construction jobs in the state,” said Kennedy.

“Through the assistance of Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Kennedy, the East Providence Fire Department will now have the ability to modernize two of our facilities, which are in desperate need of repair. Because of the economic climate we have been unable to invest in our infrastructure, and this grant will allow us to move the department into the future, make the stations more efficient, and help us to better serve Rhode Island’s communities,” said East Providence Fire Department Chief Joseph Klucznik.

The delegation is encouraging the Rhode Island Office of Economic Recovery and Reinvestment to work with local officials to make Rhode Island contractors aware of the project so they will have a full and fair opportunity to compete for this significant contract.

East Providence Fire Department is one of 14 departments across the country being awarded these ARRA Fire Station Construction Grants. The stations were selected through a competitive peer review process based on need to build new or modify existing fire stations to enhance response capabilities and protect communities from fire-related hazards. These grants will allow the fire departments to replace unsafe or uninhabitable structures and expand fire protection coverage in compliance with National Fire Protection Association standards.


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