Firefighters Local 313, the local union of firefighters in Morgantown, is dissatisfied with the proposed budget from City Manager Paul Brake because they said it puts the safety of citizens and firefighters at risk.
The initially proposed budget would decrease the number of firefighters from 61-49, a reduction of 12 positions. City Manager Paul Brake explained that the city simply cannot afford to keep those 12 positions, which were added in 2017 as part of a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from the federal government. The grant runs for three years and ends in November 2020.
During a city council meeting on Tuesday, March 3, the city offered to retain six of the 12 positions, however, that still doesn’t sit well with the union, President Jayson Nicewarner said.
“Six isn’t good enough for us we want it to be zero we want to retain all 12 of those firefighting positions,” Nicewarner said.