GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – While touring the Grand Junction Air Center during her visit to the Grand Valley, Department of Interior’s Secretary Deb Haaland saw the critical need for improvements to the complex, and has decided to invest millions of dollars into the Fire Management facilities,
“I am so proud to announce that Grand Junction Air Center will receive a 6.1 million dollar investment to repair the complex and tanker base. That’s very exciting,” announced Secretary Deb Haaland on July 23rd.
This investment will eliminate safety hazards by replacing several buildings that need repair.
The Fire Management Unit says historically it competes with every fire agency and the Department of Interior for funding, so to receive this money means a lot,
“Opportunities like this don’t come very often so we’re very grateful for the secretary’s announcement,” says Fire Management Unit’s Thomas Hayes.
The funds will be put towards creating one cost-effective facility on the base and repair the tanker base concrete pavement,
“The infrastructure improvements to the Air Center complex will keep workers safe and increase efficiency while reducing operation costs,” says KREX5’s Reilly Spence.
Workers at the Air Center say the improvements are not only exciting, but necessary for the work that they do,
“Having the facility that supports all the transient resources we have, you know our inflating staff as activity grows, all the incoming air crews; being able to have a facility that’s comfortable and provides the needs they have during the season is going to be a big deal for us,” says GJ Air Center’s Adam Goeden.
The project is supported by the Great American Outdoors Act’s Restoration Fund, and will take off in fiscal year 2022.
The air center supports federal efforts to mitigate the impacts of wildfires in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, and this funding will help improve this work immensely.