Fairfield officials are debating whether to accept a federal firefighting staffing grant because of the city’s own financial obligations that come with the funding. Fairfield was awarded a nearly $1.26 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant so the fire department could hire six firefighters. The grant requires the city to conribute about $783,000.The city will pay for the upfront personnel costs (such as wages, contractual overtime and benefits) and will be reimbursed over the next three years. The city is also required to maintain the staffing level after the grant period.
“The idea behind the SAFER grant is that it should be adding to your operating staffing and therefore the amount of overtime should be decreased by the additional resources that are provided by the federal government,” said Finance Director Scott Timmer.