American Rescue Plan Act to fund new firetrucks and other projects in Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Huntsville is allocating $34.4 million in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The purpose of the act is to provide funding to local governments to offset financial impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
They’ve got a pretty free hand on what to do with it. The rules on this money are actually quite loose.
The largest portion of this money is going to replace firetrucks. Right now the city only has 25. They want to use about $18 million to buy 21 firetrucks to replace ours over time. This will include 17 pumper trucks and one hazardous material (HAZMAT) truck.
According to Councilmember Bill Kling, the facilities department did a detailed evaluation and decided that the trucks needed to be replaced. He said the Huntsville Fire Department’s fire trucks are getting old and high in mileage. The city reports the average age of the City’s firetrucks is 20 years old and the oldest one is 31 years old. According to its website, some of the trucks’ parts are no longer available because the parts are no longer available.
“We’re not gonna be extravagant but just replace the ones that really need to be replaced and we want to replace them before they completely break down,” said councilmember Kling. “When your house catches on fire you want that quick response time no matter where you live in the city.” Kling says the old firetrucks will either be given to other municipalities or sold at auction.
$11.5 million is going to the parks and recreation department. It will be used to improve some parks and facilities. The city reports that it will help fund the armory’s transition into a community center for the senior population. It’s also set to fund the new multiuse park at Johnson Legacy Center and renovations at James Crawford Park.
The city’s website reports that $2.5 million will go to culture and tourism. That means helping some entities get back on solid financial footing. It’s set to provide funds for delayed maintenance projects, new staff and more.
Lastly, $1 million will go to workforce recruitment partnership between the City of Huntsville and the county chambers.
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