St. Louis recently backed out of a FEMA Grant, and that has left the door open for Alton to possibly benefit. Fire Chief Bernie Sebold says that move has potentially freed up $1.4-million for the St. Louis Port area. The key word is potentially, since the sequestration cuts means that money would have to be re-approved, and funneled through FEMA to the Upper Mississippi River Sector Coast Guard office.
If it is, Alton is asking for $381,000 to purchase a new fire rescue boat.
He says after using the current rescue boat for a number of years, it has become obvious there are some changes that could make things easier for his crews. More space would be one improvement, and the plan, if awarded the grant money, is to get a boat that is 12 feet longer and 2 feet wider than the current one.