The city’s fire chief was hoping to use a $281,247 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to add three firefighters, but Mayor James Melfi has refused the grant because he said its cost is too high.
Girard fire Chief Kenneth Bornemiss said he was informed Sept. 14 of the city being awarded the grant and approval was needed from the administration within 30 days, which is Sunday. Bornemiss said at Tuesday’s council meeting he hoped to receive the administration’s approval to bolster the department’s ranks and eliminate overtime.
FEMA awarded the fire department the $281,247 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to hire three additional full-time firefighters / paramedics. The grant would have run March 2019 to March 2022.
Bornemiss said the matching grant would cost the city $38,000 the first and second year and $98,816, which is a 65 percent match, the third year.