Local fire and water agencies across the nation struggle to provide and access adequate resources for fire suppression. Our friends at the National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) are prioritizing legislative action to address this issue in the 118th Congress and continue to seek feedback from community stakeholders on the issue.
In July 2022, the NSDC released a report with in-depth insights on core issues facing fire and water agencies as they strive to provide essential public health and safety services.
Primarily, local governments cite the absence of a financial assistance program aimed to ensure adequate water infrastructure coverage for firefighting in or nearby populated areas as a consistent problem. Driving this concern is the high cost of building infrastructure with sufficient water pressure to serve hydrants, establish water storage, and procure fire vehicles.
Other challenges include ability to access existing federal funding programs, interagency communication coordination, and difficulty achieving awards for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) major fire service grant programs. Nearly all challenges noted in the NSDC report are more pronounced in rural communities.
The NSDC assembled a group of 24 fire protection and water district leaders from nine states to examine the infrastructure gaps and to formally recommend steps to enhance fire suppression and mitigate fire disasters. The group recommends four policy actions for federal lawmakers:
Fire protection districts interested in engaging with the NSDC on grassroots and legislative efforts to address this public policy issue are encouraged to contact Cole Arreola-Karr at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ridgeline Municipal Strategies, LLC helps fire protection districts with financial planning and financing for facilities and equipment, including bond issuance, private placements, USDA loans, and equipment leasing. Contact us to discuss your financing needs.
Ridgeline served as a municipal advisor on the issuance of a $14,600,000 USDA interim financing for the City of San Juan Bautista.Read this post
As California fire stations age and become functionally obsolete, fire agencies have multiple options to finance new fire station construction and renovation projects.Read this post
Ridgeline's assessment of CalPERS' FY2022 investment loss and its impact on the CalPERS member agencies.Read this post
Ridgeline served as a municipal advisor on the issuance of $5,278,000 pension obligation bonds for the Alpine Fire Protection District.Read this post