A refurbished Fire Fighters Memorial and new water fountain/bottle-fill stations soon may add to Moline amenities after unanimous votes of support Tuesday at the City Council Committee of the Whole session.

Fire Fighters Memorial Stone

Council members unanimously approved a resolution to use Foreign Fire Tax Funds up to $23,000 to refurbish the Moline Fire Fighters Memorial Stone as recommended and approved by the Foreign Fire Tax Board at the April 12 meeting.

Over the last several years, according to city documents, the current Moline Fire Fighter Memorial site, on Ben Butterworth Parkway along River Drive has fallen into disrepair. Currently there is no public access to the names of the firefighters who have served the Moline Fire Department.

There are about 130 names on the  memorial board at Central Fire Station, according to the Committee of the Whole agents, but it is not easily accessible and does not allow for frequent visits. The refurbishment will consist of replacing the small sign with a permanent memorial stone indicating the purpose of the site.

In addition, all past members of the department will have their names engraved on a brick currently in the memorial site. From now on, when a firefighter passes away, the name will be added to the site in an ongoing process. The $23,000 will cover the cost of the granite and engraving of the memorial stone, documents say.

What is the Foreign Fire Fund?

The Illinois Foreign Fire Insurance Fund is distributed by the state of Illinois Muncipal League. The Municipal League collects insurance taxes from companies outside of the State of Illinois. That money is distributed to fire departments across the state for the needs of the departments as the department sees fit to compensate for what is not provided by the municipality.

Water fountain/bottle fill stations

Council members also approved authorizing the parks & recreation director to buy water fountain/bottle fill stations from Most Dependable Fountains, Inc., for $102,551.87.

The Parks & Recreation and Utilities staff sought recommendation on the use of unrestricted ARPA funding for Environmental Best Practices and the replacement of existing water fountains in the city’s parks and trails to support water conservation and elimination of single-use plastic water bottles, city documents say.

Water fountain/bottle fill stations will be installed by city staff. Unrestricted ARPA funding of $75,000 is allocated for this project.

What are ARPA funds?

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, provides for the distribution of federal fiscal recovery funding to states, tribal governments, metropolitan cities, counties, and non-entitlement units (NEUs) of local governments, which generally have populations below 50,000.

Both measures were approved unanimously, and will be considered by the full council.