Hillsboro receives grant for the fire department

“We learned about a grant that the fire department submitted and they were able to secure an award,” said City Administrator Larry Paine at last Tuesday’s Hillsboro City Council Meeting.

He invited Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee to brag about his men and the work they had done for the department.

“Thanks to the efforts of Rusty Moss and Matt Hein. I had applied many times in the past unsuccessfully so those guys said ‘why don’t we try it once?’. And they were successful,” said Steketee. “Our original grant request was for $328,000 which included new radios and some other equipment. Those didn’t get through the peer review. But FEMA did award us a grant of $123,000.”

Steketee went on to explain some of the equipment the department will now be able to purchase thanks to the grant–including composite bottles, which are set to expire this year, that were previously purchased with another grant.

“The bottles only last 15 years and this is year 15,” said Steketee. “We really could have used the compressor as well, but we’ll take it.”

Mayor Lou Thurston thanked Steketee, Rusty Moss and Matt Hein for their hard work and diligence every day as well as the above and beyond work that they put into the grant in keeping the community safe.

“I couldn’t begin to calculate the hours that Rusty put into this grant. It’s a huge undertaking,” said Steketee. “He and Captain Matt Hein corroborated and got it all done.”

Moss expressed appreciation that they were able to secure the grant after years of not getting it.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome. It would have been nice if it was more, but it serves out purposes for now,” said Moss.

In other business, the council

◼ heard updates on street repairs. The West Grand construction is 98 percent complete. The council is waiting on a few adjustments that the contractor has been asked to fix. The council approved payment of $99, 359.61 to Vogts Parga for the asphalt overlay.

◼ heard that N. Wilson has been poured and is now open to traffic. S. Wilson was poured the week before and should be ready for traffic next week. Payment to Vogts Parga for $370, 967.71 was authorized.

◼ heard that East Grand has been completed and authorized payment to Hett Construction of $168,842.48

◼ authorized payment of $6,362.00 for legal fees related to the hospital bankruptcy to Triplett, Woolf Garretson, LLC