Pine City with “Legitimate Shot” at Federal Funds for Fire Hall

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 5:27 am

picture-4771A new fire hall may in Pine City’s future sooner rather than later.  The city council held a special meeting, Monday, where they agreed to support and endorse paying matching funds if they receive a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Pine City Economic Development Authority plans on issuing bonds of approximately $1 million to match the grant component which is expected to be $2 million dollars.  Pine City is currently pursuing grant funds through FEMA and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.  Mayor Jane Robbins says this is a rare opportunity.

“This is an opportunity that will probably never happen again,” Mayor Robbins said.  She added “Because the other parts of this look very promising, [the EDA] thought we needed to act quickly.”

The decision was not put to a referendum because of the time frame needed to move forward, according to city administrator Don Howard.  The council needed to make the decision to match the grant funds by July 10th.  Howard says the project is shovel ready, adding this gives the fire hall a greater chance of receiving grant funds.

He said, “It’s going to be hard pressed to find 101 selections out that that are farther ahead than we are.”

Council Memeber Paul Miller said he looked at some of the criteria for receiving the grant and says the city passed “with flying colors.”  He added that the city has a “legitimate shot” to receive the funds.

The council in attendence voted uanimously on the decision, however council members Dylan Ascheman and Paul Janssen were not in attendance.

Earlier this month, the city council agreed to pay $7,500 to Buetow and Associates Architectural Services to update plans for a renovated fire hall, in order to be eligible for federal grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Buetow and Associates Vice President Randy Engel estimated the cost of building the fire hall is $3.6 million.

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