Final Stimulus Package: $210 million for fire station construction

The full text of the compromise stimulus bill was finally released today, and the House has already passed it; Senate voting starts at 5:30 eastern and the bill is expected to pass. As reported by the IAFC, the compromise bill includes several items of interest to the fire service:

• $210 million for fire station construction via the firefighter assistance grants program, with no grant exceeding $15 million. This was a compromise between the $500 million in the Senate bill and no funding in the House bill. The funds are provided for modifying, upgrading or constructing non-federal fire stations. The funding is expected to support nearly 2,000 jobs based on an estimate by the Department of Homeland Security.

• The 10-20-50-70 local match for SAFER grants awarded in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 have been waived.

• $15 million to the Bureau of Land Management’s “Wildland Fire Management” account for hazardous fuels reduction. This matches the Senate proposal; there was no House proposal. The funds should be used for high-priority hazardous fuels reduction projects on federal lands.

• $500 million for the U.S. Forest Service’s “Wildland Fire Management” account, of which $250 million is for hazardous fuels reduction, forest health protection, rehabilitation and hazard mitigation activities on federal lands; and $250 million is for state and private forestry activities, including hazardous fuels reduction, forest health and ecosystem improvement activities on state and private lands. The final total is instead $485 million proposed by the Senate and $850 million proposed by the House.

Full text links here:

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