Rural Fire Departments Secure Grant Money From State Ag Department

Wednesday, August 17th 2016, 10:23 pm
By: News 9

In the midst of state budget cuts, hundreds of rural Oklahoma fire departments just got some good news. 

About $3.3 million in grant money is about to be spread out amongst 861 fire departments. 

The money comes from the budget of the state Agriculture, Food and Forestry budget. 

Each of those rural fire departments — all that serve less than 10,000 people — will receive just over $3,800 each to help with “operational costs.” 

State Rep. Scott Biggs said while the Agriculture Department has annually dispersed this grant money in this way for decades, there was a fear it wouldn’t do it this year.

“This was the first year that the Department of Ag took an administrative fee off the top, to help balance their budget, rather than pass the money on to departments where it should go,” he said. 

An Agriculture Department spokeswoman told News 9 Wednesday that claim is not true. 

She said their department, just like other state departments each took 10.6 percent cuts this past year. 

She said the Agriculture Department was very fortunate it could still offer this grant money to rural fire departments.