Mich. FD May be in Jeopardy of Losing SAFER Grant

The largest of the FY2011 SAFER grants awarded thus far may be in jeopardy.

It was announced last week the city of Taylor, Mich. received an $8.1 million grant for firefighter staffing, but it was revealed Wednesday that Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand had sent a letter requesting FEMA to withdraw the application, according to The News Herald.

Lamarand told the newspaper that he had concerns about the city not being able to maintain the grant's requirements, though he was told by FEMA officials that there was no way to stop the grant.

"We have concerns. We have a couple scenarios that need to be addressed, including the future cost incurred by the city not covered by the grant," he said. "The grant is not a long-term solution. It is a short-term fix and not necessarily a long-term fix."

The grant would allow the city to hire back 32 of the 38 firefighters previously laid off, but any staffing reduction during the two-year year grant would nullify it.

Taylor's budget for upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, reduces staffing for the fire department from 24 to 19.

Fire Chief Bob Tompos did that the city could possibly lose the grant is an agreement isn't reached before then.

"They haven't said they are taking it away from us. It isn't a lost cause yet," he said. "I'm hopeful we can work out our differences."