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Over $1 million in federal dollars designated in Jonesboro

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Over $1 million in federal CARES Act funds are finally being designated in Jonesboro.

Mayor Harold Copenhaver announced the plan for those funds.

Public safety is one part of the criteria that those federal COVID dollars can be used on.

A large portion of the money given to the city is going to the Jonesboro Fire Department.

“We can’t go if we don’t know,” said Kevin Miller, fire chief.

Miller went through a test run of the current alert system for the entire department Wednesday during a tour.

After more than 20 years, Miller said the system is outdated.

“Currently, we have issues when a page goes out and the station isn’t notified and we have to go back and re-page that,” he said.

Over $700,000 will go to the department to help update the system at all stations across the city.

CARES Act funds were distributed months ago, but the city had to wait for instructions on what the funds could be used for and if that fit into what was needed in the city.

“CARES Act funding has been a great asset to take the pressure off of that existing budget and funding,” said Miller.

Funds will also be used for safety cameras, updated technology for E911, and medical protection.

Miller said these improvements are important to their response times.

“If the 911 system is not able to notify us about a call in that area, we can’t respond,” he said.

With the increase in medical calls, the fire department will also receive $70,000 in medical protection.

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