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Cayuga County fire training tower upgrade stalls after Congress denies funding

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  • Staff Report 

Cayuga County’s plan to upgrade its fire training tower in Auburn has hit a roadblock after Congress rejected a $1.3 million funding request. The county’s emergency services director, Riley Shurtleff, was informed of the decision during U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney’s recent visit to the tower, according to reporting this week by The Citizen.

Despite support from Tenney and New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, the project was excluded from the fiscal year 2024 spending bills.


The proposed improvements to the tower included a 2,200-square-foot addition for a classroom and kitchen, deemed necessary after the existing space was declared unfit by the state’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control. The total cost of the project was estimated between $1.6 to $1.7 million.

With federal support now uncertain, officials are exploring other funding options, including a new state program for volunteer fire infrastructure or reapplying for federal funding in the 2025 fiscal year.