New Bedford loses firefighters' grant that pays for 70 jobs

  • Source: New Bedford Standard-Times (South Coast Times)
  • Published: 03/14/2013 03:18 AM

The city has lost a federal grant that pays for 70 firefighter positions but officials are hoping to get that money back. Mayor Scott Lang's administration first applied for the two-year SAFER grant meant to boost struggling communities facing imminent cuts to their public safety forces. Mayor Jon Mitchell reapplied for it, saying last July that "We can't forgo reapplying for this if we want to maintain current staffing levels." Neil Mello, Mitchell's chief of staff, told The Standard-Times Wednesday that the Fire Department has about $2.2 million left over from the current grant, enough to carry it through September. However, grant administrators viewed that unfavorably, he said. "We are being frugal and stretching our SAFER funds. To be penalized for that is a bit of an injustice," Mello said. "This notice is nothing more than a hiccup."


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