MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BE SPENT IN FIRE SERVICE CONSTRUCTION
Over One Hundred Projects in Seventy-Three Communities Listed at a Cost of $13,443,000
MORE than a hundred new fire stations, drill towers, alarm systems and communications buildings are on the construction programs of 73 communities and will cost an estimated $13,443,000. They are described as essential public works for which the Federal Works Agency advanced $339,176, without interest, to bring the projects through the blueprint stages, so that construction can start when economic conditions warrant.
These fire fighting and fire protection facilities are among local public works which have been built in the last two years or which are on the reserve shelves of cities, towns and counties, to cost in excess of $2,000,000,000. The backlog for needed local public works in the last year has been set at about $5,000,000,000.
In theory these public works were to serve as a reserve, projects on which work could be started at once in the case of economic recession. But even where there has been little pressure for completing the plans the average elapsed time between initiation of the planning and approval of the complete blue prints has been 18.3 months. As a matter of fact, however, many of these public works were so necessary, because of the deferral of construction in the war years, that they have been put under construction, and this, of course, depletes the reserve shelf.
The FWA Advance Planning Program expired on June 30, 1947 with its parent legislation. It had been authorized as Title V of the War Mobilization and Reconversion Act of 1944. Bills that would restore the planning program for periods up to five years are now before Congress.
The fire public works projects cover a span from the combined town liallfire-police stations in smaller communities, to undertakings to register, as in Evanston, Ill., Flint, Mich., Providence, R. I., and Cleveland, Ohio, within the half-million dollar range.
The planning table follows:
FIRE STATIONS—ADVANCE PLANNING PROGRAM