Posted by Matt Byrne January 12, 2012 10:10 AM
Mayor Gary Christenson said yesterday in a statement he would hire four firefighters after the federal goverment approved a $2 million grant last July.
“This decision will provide the additional firefighters needed to keep our community safe," Christenson said.
The total number of firefighters will rise to 117 including the new hires. Of that total, 13 are paid by the SAFER (Staffing For Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) grant.
In 2010, 10 firefighters were laid off after a contract impasse led to budget cuts. The city had previously turned away $768,000 in similar grant funds that year because the city would have had to foot the cost for the personnel it hired after the two-year grant ended.
The new grant funding does not come with the same unfunded mandate.