Camano Island Fire and Rescue receives full federal grant for seismic remodel

Camano Island Fire and Rescue (CIFR) has won an appeal for a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) grant that helped fund the seismic retrofit of Terry’s Corner Fire Station. The Federal and State portion of the grant was $392,442.

The District had submitted all documentation detailing the remodel/demolition plans to the State of Washington and FEMA before getting bids on the project. The State approved the plans, which triggered the bidding process for CIFR. After construction began, the grant was repealed by FEMA, due to an interpretation of the scope of work. The Districtappealed this interpretation and was awarded $72,168 of the original Federal share of the grant. The District filed a second appeal for the remaining $264,140 in Federal grant funds. This final appeal was reviewed by Mr. Roy Wright, the Deputy Associate Administrator of Mitigation for FEMA, based in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Wright’s ruling came out last week in favor of the District, noting that CIFR had followed the rules, stayed within the established scope of work, and provided all documentation required. With this ruling the District is now eligible to receive the full Federal share of $336,308 and the State grant share of $56,134 for a total State/Federal share of $392,442.

CIFR Chief Mike Ganz expressed gratitude for the decision.

“Federal bidding laws are very complicated. We take real pride in our record of compliance and most certainly feel validated by this final decision. It’s really gratifying to have the Federal Government make such a sensible decision and note that CIFR was in full compliance all through the process.”

The grant was part of the District’s funding plan to upgrade and remodel several of its fire stations and critical infrastructure. The seismic retrofit of Terry’s Corner was the final project of a $10 million public bond. Another $1.5 million in funding for the series of projects was sourced from capital funds, property sales and grants.

“This partnership between the District and the Federal and State governments provided for a seismically strengthened fire station and ultimately a safer community,” said Ganz.

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