CLINTON — The federal government has awarded the city of Clinton nearly $450,000 to pay for a new fire and rescue boat that will cost almost $600,000.
The Clinton Fire Department will receive $448,000 in funding from the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program. This funding was competitively awarded and will be used to help replace a fire and rescue boat.
“We count on our firefighters and first responders to protect our families and communities,” Congressman Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, said when he announced the grant late last week. “I am pleased that the Clinton Fire Department is receiving this funding, which will ensure they have the proper equipment to respond to all disasters and allow them to continue to keep our river safe and commerce flowing.”
Clinton Fire Chief Mike Brown said the new boat will benefit the area by increasing the department’s capacity to protect not only citizens who live along and use the Mississippi River, but also infrastructure such as the U.S. 30, Iowa/Illinois 136, Iowa/Illinois 52 and Union Pacific Railroad bridges and the levee. It also will be used in the case of an emergency at the number of private businesses that line the Mississippi River in Clinton and surrounding areas such as Archer Daniels Midland, The Quad-City Nuclear Generating Station, 3M, Vertex Chemical Corporation and ARTCO Fleeting.
The boat will replace the Clinton Fire Department’s current boat, which the city has owned for roughly a decade and offers only a fraction of the firefighting capacity the new boat will offer.
“The most notable thing in our application was that the Coast Guard felt we were fairly under equipped to handle a major emergency along the river. This is something we need, but we could never go to the taxpayers and ask them to pay for this,” Brown said. “This new boat we will be able to use in multiple jurisdictions and will allow us to be better prepared.”