Houston Mayor Willy Walker signs paperwork Thursday for a USDA Rural Development grant toward purchase of a new fire truck during a ceremony at city hall. Seated, from left, Houston city council member Joe Honeycutt, local USDA Rural Development office representative Emma Hohenberger, Walker, Will Wheeler of Sen. Roy Blunt's office and Jenni Riegel of Rep. Jason Smith's office. Standing: Houston City Administrator Scott Avery, City Clerk Heather Sponsler, Economic Development Director Rob Harrington and Fire Chief Robbie Smith.

The City of Houston was awarded a grant this week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling $435,000 toward the purchase of a new fire truck.

“We are very excited about the awarding of this grant,” said City Administrator Scott Avery, “and we are looking forward to purchasing a new fire truck to continue to protect our citizens.”

The USDA Rural Development grant was worked on by economic development director Rob Harrington and other members of staff. Harrington commended the team effort in the process.

“This grant is one of the largest grants that the City of Houston has ever received,” he said, “and the hard work that the team here at the city put in is how we were able to succeed in winning this grant.”

City of Houston Fire Chief Robbie Smith was also involved in the process. The purchase of a new fire truck is one of the many things the city is doing after voters passed a new parks and public safety tax last April.

USDA Rural Development’s office in Houston assisted in the process. The grant pays 75 percent of the cost of the truck.

“We continue to see tremendous growth and opportunity happening in Houston,” said Mayor Willy Walker, “and I am proud to be working with the board of aldermen on moving this community forward.”

The city will be sending out bids on specifications that will be worked on by a committee within the city and officials hope to have the new fire truck ordered and shipped here by the beginning of next year.

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