S. E. Williams |
State lawmakers awarded San Bernardino County nearly $13 million in state funding to help purchase fire engines and to build a new fire station and animal shelter.
The project requests were included in the recently passed 2022-23 state budget.
Commenting on the funding gains Board Chair Curt Hagman acknowledged the successful partnerships between state legislators and local officials stating, “San Bernardino doesn’t just have great representatives in Sacramento, we have great champions who fight for us. “
For example, Assemblyman James Ramos (D-Highland) and a former county supervisor, obtained $7 million to build a new fire station near the unincorporated community of Rosena Ranch, a new housing development allocated along the I-15 freeway near the Cajon Pass.
The community is situated about 20 minutes from the fire stations in neighboring communities which raised legitimate concerns about response times not only for routine emergency calls but also potential wildfires in the area. Ramos’ state budget request will help make the fire sation for this community a reality.
Another million dollars in fire protection funding was secured for San Bernardino County due to the advocacy of Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale).
The money will enable the County Fire Protection District to purchase water tenders and brush engines for the small mountain community of Wrightwood located in the northern foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains just west of the Cajon Pass.
According to county officials, these engines are smaller, more maneuverable and better able to operate in mountainous or off road terrain.
In another example of state legislators working in partnership with local electeds to secure funding for county initiatives, Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) championed a request for $4.5 million toward the county’s effort to build a new county animal shelter in Bloomington. The new shelter will replace the aging Devore shelter.
While the county has set aside funds to construct the new facility, there is still a funding gap that must be closed before construction can begin as noted by Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca.
“This is a major project for San Bernardino County and a significant investment in the unincorporated community of Bloomington that will be a landmark for many years to come,” he said in a statement on the county’s website. “We appreciate the dedication and effort of Assemblymember Reyes to assist us with this project that will benefit the entire county.”