Regional approach might boost grant requests

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Groves is filing a grant request with the federal government for $1 million to become a regional marine firefighting center. Port Arthur recently approved seeking approximately a million-dollar grant for marine firefighting equipment and a hazardous materials response vehicle. The ability to fight fires in the ship channel and on the Neches River and definitely needed. So is a vehicle with which to respond to hazardous materials spills.
The need for those thingsĀ  does not stop at any city border. The waterways and the industrial facilities using hazardous materials are in all the cities in Mid- and South Jefferson County, which is why it makes sense to create regional centers to respond to incidents that require such tremendously expensive equipment.
All of our local cities have pride in their heritage and it seems there is sometimes a fear of working together for fear of losing individual identities. While the three Mid-County cities cooperate extensively, more could be done to create a regional approach to things like marine firefighting and hazardous waste response. The grant applications would be stronger and might result in more funding from the federal government for needed equipment.
The deadline to apply for this round of grants is imminent and they will each be sent individually. But if we could get our governmental leaders to begin thinking regionally we could find strength in numbers that might make our grant applications more successful.