The Port Arthur News
The City of Groves will once again make an application for federal funding for construction of a new fire station/emergency operations center.
“This is the same thing as last year. We’re going to apply again,” Groves Fire Chief Dale Jackson told council Monday night. “We were turned down last year. This year all I can do is put in another application.”
Council gave approval for Jackson to make the application for a Port Security Grant. The deadline to submit the application is May 23. If approved, the grant would pay up to $1 million on construction projects.
The current fire station, at 6150 Short St., is approaching 60 years old.
“It’s a well built structure, but it’s pretty much served its time,” he said. “The problem is that we’ve outgrown it. Trucks are getting bigger and bigger, and our bays were built almost 60 years ago; back then they didn’t make apparatus that big.”
Last April councilmembers approved the purchase of 1.4 acres of land at Gulf and Washington for a price of $77,000 for future development and construction of a fire station.
And even though the need is there, Jackson doesn’t feel very confident this time around because the grant is highly competitive.
“We will compete with all the other Tier 2 ports in the country,” he said.
The grant cycles come around, he added, and priorities change.
“We are seeing a trend away from construction project grants,” he said.
The proposed site is adjacent to the future home of the Groves Police Department/court/emergency operations center.
The soon-to-be completed 10,600 square-foot multi-purpose building will serve as an emergency operations center as well as police station and court facility. The building will be able to withstand 150 mph winds.
Funding for the project comes from a Port Security Grant totaling $2.5 million. The grant pays 75 percent of the cost and the city’s matching portion is about $600,000.