BRIDGEPORT — New fire protection equipment and a city revitalization plan are in the works for Bridgeport thanks to the state Department of Commerce.
The city is receiving $251,188 for fire protection equipment and $24,000 for a revitalization plan through Community Development Block Grants doled out by Commerce. The department has awarded over $10.5 million for infrastructure projects in 23 rural municipalities and counties.
“Partnering with local governments to create infrastructure is essential to our mission of strengthening communities,” Commerce Director Lisa Brown said in a news release. “The grants we are announcing today will result in cleaner water, safer streets, and ultimately, a higher quality of life in towns, cities, and counties across Washington state.”
Judy Brown, Bridgeport’s clerk and treasurer, said the city will buy personal protective equipment — or turnout gear — and self-contained breathing apparatuses for its 15 volunteer firefighters, along with washer-extractors to clean gear.
Brown said some of the equipment was outdated, but there wasn’t room in the city’s budget to replace it.
“Instead of only replacing one turnout a year, we can replace them all,” she said.
The revitalization plan will focus on Bridgeport’s downtown corridor on Highway 173, she said. The Planning Commission has been looking at that for years, and the city will hire a consultant to help.
“We are looking for ... what could we do to help our community grow economically. That’s the basics of it,” Brown said. “We’re a small community that needs to look at how to make us more inviting to businesses.”