‘We’re really thrilled,’ Benton County volunteer fire departments getting American Rescue Plan Funds

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ROGERS (KNWA/KFTA) – The Benton County Quorum Court allocated more of its American Rescue Plan funds Thursday night, with thousands going to local volunteer fire departments.

Some of the money will help Northeastern Benton County Fire Department and Beaver Lake Fire Department. Both of the departments do not receive municipal funding. Beaver Lake Fire Chief, John Whisenant, said the department is very grateful to receive the money.

“It’s really going to improve our capabilities to serve the community, and keep our firefighters and first responders safe and so we’re really thrilled and grateful to the support for this,” Whisenant said.

Chief Whisenant said the funds will help with hazard pay and various projects.

“Replacing our nearly 20-year-old self contained breathing apparatuses or SCBAs, we wear those inside the fires and toxic environments and they keep firefighters safe while they’re operating in those environments,” Whisenant said.

The Benton County Quorum Court also allocated money to county employees at Thursday night’s meeting, according to County Judge Barry Moehring.

“We were also able to provide some premium pay for county employees, which was very badly needed,” Moehring said.

Benton County has $54 million of American Rescue Plan funds to spend during the next two years. Organizations can apply for the funds until Oct. 31. The Quorum Court plans to continue to discuss and decide how it will distribute the remaining funds.

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