Barre City firefighters will be breathing easier thanks to a federal grant announced on Monday.
“An exhaust system in this building, and it being a safe working environment is a huge thing for everybody that works and visits here,” said Barre City Fire Chief Tim Bombardier.
The system has been around since the Public Safety facility was built 8 years ago.
Fire Chief Tim Bombardier says it started having problems 4 years ago.
But back then, his team didn't have the money to replace it.
On Monday, city and state leaders announced Barre is getting $24,400 for a new system.
The money is coming from the USDA and was approved in the Farm Bill.
“It is part of USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities Program,” said Vermont State Director of USDA Rural Development Ted Brady. “We do grants and loans, with an emphasis on loans. We have very few grants and Barre's been able to access a lot of them."
“This might seem like a lot of hoopla for $24,000,” said Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon. “It's not about $24,000. It's about what we're going to do with the $24,000 that we don't have to put into a ventilation system."
Mayor Thom Lauzon listed economic development and infrastructure as other places the money could be used.
The system will cost about $45,000 total, the rest will be covered by the city of Barre. The parts are ready for delivery as soon as the money comes in.
“As somebody who's worked in a few shops myself, I can tell you that it's very much appreciated by the employees that have to work here but these are folks that are here to try and protect us as well. So very important for us to take care of them,” said VT Lt. Gov. Phil Scott.
Over the past 6 years, Barre City has received $23 million in USDA grants just like this one.