The Inyo Register-Register Staff
Apr 13, 2023 Updated Apr 13, 2023
Congressman Kevin Kiley, who represents California’s Third Congressional District that includes Inyo County, announced his initial selections for community project funding, which includes the Southern Inyo Fire District Fire Stations Project.
As part of the annual federal budget process, members of Congress are authorized to submit up to 15 projects to receive consideration for federal funding.
Out of the numerous requests received, Kiley advanced nine projects. The final six will be announced on April 17, pursuant to federal guidance.
Although the projects must still be considered by the Appropriations Committee and a federal budget passed in order for funds to be disbursed, official submission by a member of Congress is a necessary and major step forward in the federal funding process, he stated.
“Through the federal budget process, I have submitted numerous project funding requests for our community,” Kiley stated. “The projects I am advocating for would significantly bolster fire-fighting capabilities across the Tahoe region and Eastern Sierras, ensure access to safe drinking water, construct rural broadband, and enhance emergency services. I will never stop fighting to return taxpayer dollars to our community to fund projects vital to our health, safety and welfare.”
The Southern Inyo Fire District Fire Stations Project request would allocate $1.5 million to Inyo County to construct two fire stations in Tecopa Hot Springs and Charleston View.
In a letter of support for the project, Inyo County Fourth District Supervisor and Board of Supervisors Chair Jen Roeser noted that currently, “the Southern Inyo Fire District does not have any structures to house firefighting apparatus, leaving its equipment susceptible to impacts from vandalism, burglary and open to the elements at the edge of Death Valley National Park, one of the hottest and harshest climates on Earth.”
According to Roeser, the project would fund the site preparation, extension of utilities and construction of two separate fire stations in the Southern Inyo Fire District service area. These two stations would be situated in the communities of Tecopa Hot Springs and Charleston View, which are located approximately 30 miles apart from one another.
The stations, Roeser stated, would house fire and emergency response apparatus, provide office space for staff and serve as a space to convene meetings for the purpose of emergency operations planning and response efforts. While both of these communities are sparsely populated, several thousand visitors pass through them each year.
“Emergency medical response and fire suppression are core services associated with any functional community,” Roeser stated in the letter of support. “It is impossible for the volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians serving these communities to provide adequate response and service without the proper equipment, or the space to maintain it. This project supports life-safety of California residents and visitors from all over the world.”
Other projects that Kiley has submitted for the Third District, which also includes the counties of Mono, Alpine, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra as well as parts of El Dorado, Sacramento and Yuba counties, include:
Bridgeport Ambulance Replacement Project: This request would allocate $214,500 to Mono County to replace an ambulance used by a critical care facility that no longer complies with emergency response vehicle safety standards.
City of Loyalton Water Infrastructure Project: This request would allocate $5,000,000 to the City of Loyalton to replace the deteriorating main water line and would ensure access to safe drinking water, as well as enable the fire department to better fight fires.
Kings Beach Drinking Water and Fire Suppression Improvement Project: This request would allocate $2,241,750 to the North Tahoe Public Utility District to replace old and undersized water pipes, install new fire hydrants, and improve water supply for fire suppression in Kings Beach.
PST A-15 Broadband Project: This request would allocate $4,224,000 to the Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Co-Op to construct middle and last-mile fiber optic networks to rural residents in the A-15 and Valley Ranch areas.
Kokila Reservoir Replacement Project: This request would allocate $4,000,000 to the San Juan Water District to replace the aging Kokila Reservoir with a new partially buried prestressed tank. The project would ensure over 330,000 Placer and Sacramento County residents continue to have access to safe and reliable drinking water.
Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Water Reliability and Fire Resiliency Storage Tank Project: This request would allocate $1,500,000 to the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District to construct a 2-million-gallon fire resilient water storage tank to aid in fire suppression efforts.