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November 25, 2013MILTON Ga. – Milton City Council approved a resolution Nov. 18 authorizing the city to join three other cities in applying for a grant that would help in the purchase of radio equipment for Milton's firefighters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's firefighter assistance grant is open for applicants every year. Cities can apply as individual cities or as a group of cities. The cities of Milton, Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs are in the beginning stages of applying for this grant as a group. Each city must approve a resolution to be included on the application.
Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said Milton is seeking about $300,000 worth of equipment. Milton would commit a 10 percent match at $30,000 and in exchange, the grant would be for $270,000.
The money would allow Milton to buy three "base station" radios that function inside a fire station, 14 radios to be mounted in fire engines and vehicles and 59 personal portable radios for firefighters to carry with them on emergency calls.
Lagerbloom said the city is in the process of designing and building a new radio system as the current one is nearing the end, and the new radio equipment will need to be purchased with or without the funds from the grant.
"Good communication is at the core of any public safety department," said Lagerbloom. "So if there is an opportunity to fund a grant that would provide the funding so that our $300,000 investment is only a $30,000 investment, that's just good finances. It's a need that exists with a good financial solution as an option."
For the grant application, the cities applying must provide demographic information along with a narrative explanation of why they think the award would be in line with what FEMA has determined to be critical needs for this year. Lagerbloom said one thing FEMA has said is a priority for funding is inter-operability among departments.
"This is a great inter-operability project," said Lagerbloom. "It seems as though it fits what they are looking for."
The city of Alpharetta will be taking the lead in submitting the application once each city has approved a resolution and provided the necessary information.