Sens. Menendez, Lautenberg, Rep. Sires, Mayor Smith Announce $3.56 Million In Economic Recovery Funding For Construction Of New Bayonne Firehouse

Sens. Menendez, Lautenberg, Rep. Sires, Mayor Smith Announce $3.56 Million In Economic Recovery Funding For Construction Of New Bayonne Firehouse

Bayonne, NJ - Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-13), Mayor Mark Smith and Fire Chief Greg Rogers today announced the Bayonne Fire Department will receive $3.56 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) Fire Station Construction Grant (SCG) program to build a new firehouse. Currently, one Bayonne fire station is operating out of a large temporary tent.

"This investment in Bayonne's public safety infrastructure will provide firefighters with the facilities they need to best protect the community," stated Lautenberg. "Bayonne's bravest face a unique set of challenges on this urban peninsula and must be prepared with the resources necessary to do their jobs. Securing one of the largest firehouse construction grants in the country will improve conditions for Bayonne firefighters and help them continue their tradition of excellence." "With this badly needed investment, those who deserve our attention most are getting the help they need, and Bayonne and all of us in New Jersey are the beneficiaries," stated Robert Menendez. "These firefighters have had to do their jobs in temporary quarters which, needless to say, have been neither sustainable nor suitable to their needs or the city's desires. Yet, under the most difficult circumstances, they responded to over a quarter of the city's fire runs in 2008 with dedication, courage, and professionalism. We have nothing but admiration for their extraordinary effort and we commend them for it. But things are about to change for the better."

"This grant will give the city of Bayonne the financial means to finally embark on the final stages of this crucial fire project," said Congressman Sires. "Our new station will increase the capabilities of Bayonne's fire department to protect communities from fire hazards while at the same time creating jobs and healing the 13th district's economy. I am happy to have supported Bayonne's application for this grant earlier this month. I am pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has recognized the value of this project to our district's security and economic growth."

"Sen. Lautenberg, Sen. Menendez and Congressman Sires have, once again, proven themselves to be true friends of New Jersey's citizens by looking out for the public safety of our children, our families and our senior citizens," said Mayor Smith. "This important grant will allow us to build a brand new fire station to meet the needs of our community without an increase in property taxes."

The SCG program is a new program created by the ARRA to award grants to local fire departments for the construction and modernization of fire stations. Prior to this program there were no federal funding opportunities to assist local fire stations with construction needs. The Recovery Act allocated $210 million for the construction and modernization of fire stations across the country. The award to the Bayonne Fire Department is the sixth largest in the country.

In selecting grant recipients, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave high priority to projects that would replace unsafe or uninhabitable structures, expand fire protection coverage and were in position to be built quickly.

The City of Bayonne is planning to build a new, 15,000 square foot fire station on a 1.8 acre vacant lot northeast of the current temporary location.

In addition to fire station facilities, the building will house a training room to assist in meeting the increasing educational requirements of a post 9/11 world. The Bayonne Fire Department routinely hosts many courses for the community, U.S. Coast Guard personnel and countywide interagency and interoperable training.

The site of the new fire station is centrally located near a two-lane bridge that overpasses a congested four lane state highway. Also, construction is beginning on a nearby intersection that will include a traffic light that will be controlled by the Fire Department. This will help to reduce response times, increase the safety, health and well-being of firefighters and also help to provide better fire coverage. The station will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.