Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Chris Riley

Chris Riley



ChrisRiley


"This came in the nick of time."

Fire Station 4 in Pueblo has seen much better days. Built in 1939, the building’s wood frame has been badly damaged by termites. The upstairs sleeping area is dark and dilapidated. The oldest station in the city, the building is so old that it still has a working pole for firefighters to slide down during calls. The City of Pueblo has been planning for years to replace the station and faced the prospect of borrowing millions of dollars to complete the project.


Then came the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act devoted $210 million, through the Federal Emergency Management Administration, for capital improvements at fire stations. The Pueblo Fire Department jumped at the competitive grant opportunity and won a $2.7 million grant to complete the station construction.


The new Station 4 will be located southwest of the current station in the El Camino neighborhood to accommodate population shifts and new companies. The building will be much larger than the old one and will serve as an emergency operating station and a training site for the city. The station will house extra vehicles and equipment. Most importantly, however, the new station will allow the fire department to reduce response times for emergency calls.


The city is currently building a second new fire station, Station 9, that was funded with a bond issue approved by taxpayers.


“At a time when our sales tax revenue is down, we’re stretched with our resources. We were looking at having to come up with about $3 million,” said Pueblo Fire Chief Chris Riley. “This came in the nick of time.”


“This is the largest amount of grant money in the history of the fire department,” Riley said. “The stimulus allows us to complete a mission-critical project … which will give us improved response times,” Riley said. “This will benefit taxpayers.”


 

>>> Click here to view more stories about how Recovery dollars are being put to work