Tensas Parish nets 85K police, fire grant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 18, 2001

NEWELLTON, La. – Tensas Parish towns have been awarded more than $85,000 in federal grants for police and fire equipment, U.S. Rep. John Cooksey’s office announced Thursday.

The Town of Newellton received a $33,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency to buy two new police cars.

And the Waterproof Volunteer Fire Department received a $32,828 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. &uot;The funds will be used to buy personal protective equipment for firefighters,&uot; said Cooksey, adding that upgrading gear is necessary because &uot;equipment has become much more sophisticated and expensive in recent years.&uot;

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Thirteen other fire departments in Louisiana, also received FEMA grants this month to purchase equipment of firefighters, said Cooksey, R-5th District.

Currently, Newellton only has one police vehicle – an 1997 model – but it has so many miles on it that it is &uot;on its last leg,&uot;&160;Newellton Mayor Alex Davis said on Friday.

Davis said he hopes to finish the process of advertising for and accepting bids for the cars in time to get the vehicles delivered by early October.

Grant funds are essential for a small town like Newellton because, as far as revenues are concerned, &uot;we don’t have anything else to work with,&uot;&160;Davis said.

&uot;Our main source of revenues are gas and water (payments), because we don’t have a lot of businesses to support our tax base,&uot;&160;he added. &uot;So grants like these really come in handy.&uot;

Newellton also received a grant of $39,000 and a loan of $80,000 from the Rural Development Agency in 2000.