COLLEGE STATION - The Robstown Fire Department will be receiving more than $1,000 as part of a $5.7 million reimbursement package that will go to more than 900 Texas fire departments.
The TFS is awarding the money in the form of a legislative grant, communications manager Linda Moon said, to departments who helped fight wildfires during the 2005-06 wildfire season.
House Bill 15 of the 80th Texas Legislature provided funds to help pay for the cost of fighting wildfires statewide between December 1, 2005, and September 18, 2006. A portion of these funds were designated to help local fire departments recover some of the expenses incurred during that time period.
"The 05-06 wildfire season was so long and intense that it required a sustained team effort from local, state, out-of-state and federal resources," Moon said. "Texas Forest Service is happy to help facilitate these reimbursement payments to local fire departments and is truly grateful for their service to Texas."
The Robstown Fire Department will be receiving $1,156 in reimbursements, which Fire Chief Richard Gonzalez said will go into the City of Robstown's General Fund rather than the department itself.
Other Nueces County departments receiving reimbursement are the Flour Bluff-Nueces County Emergency Services District No. 2, which will receive $8,743, and Nueces County Emergency Services District No. 4, which will get $1,007.
Texas Forest Service_s role in this reimbursement process is to verify fire reports and to distribute the payments to the fire departments, Moon said. Expenses eligible for reimbursement were reported and determined through the TFS Fire Reporting System.
House Bill 15 provided for the recovery of fire department expenses that were not already covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency or TFS emergency grants. Some local fire departments received reimbursements from FEMA for the period of time that Texas was under a Presidential Emergency Declaration.
In addition, fire departments that submitted eligible requests for grants during the fire season received TFS Rural VFD Assistance Program emergency grants, Moon said.