The Katy Fire Department received a grant of more than $2.18 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant will fund 16 new firefighters’ salaries at the future Fire Station 2.

Congressman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security which has authority over FEMA, attended a press conference Tuesday at KFD where the award was announced.

“This is really huge for the city of Katy," McCaul said. "I’ve [written] these grants quite a bit, and I personally have never worked on a grant for my constituents quite this size."

Katy Fire Chief Russell "Rusty" Wilson, center, explains the grant application process at a press conference Tuesday.[/caption]

The grant will be distributed in reimbursements over the next three years, permitting the city meets certain deadlines, Katy Fire Chief Russell “Rusty” Wilson said. Katy must hire the 16 firefighters within the next six months and moving forward with construction of the new fire station.

The new fire station is set to break ground in the next few months at the northwest corner of Katy Mills. The building is expected to open in late 2018 or early 2019 and construction is expected to last about a year, Wilson said.

The 16 staff will support three shifts of four firefighters and meet requirements for employees' time off.

“We’re going to be safer than we are now, and that’s the purpose of this grant,” said Brawner.

Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner said that after the three-year SAFER grant expires in August 2020, new growth in the city's tax base will help fund the Fire Station 2. This growth includes tax revenue from new arrivals such as Amazon and Buc-ee’s.