More firefighters added under grant

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Three more firefighters will be added to the city’s fire department after a Monday city council vote.

Councilors voted that day to hire the remaining three firefighters allotted for under a Federal Emergency Management Agency $616,876 Security Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant the City Council accepted Jan. 15.

The grant was awarded Dec. 15 for four firefighters.

The first firefighter under the grant was hired earlier this month.The most recent hiring completes the hiring obligations for the grant.

The grant has caused controversy in other Downriver communities. A SAFER grant has been tabled several times in Allen Park and is still being considered by the city’s emergency financial manager, and last year Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand was found guilty of contempt of court after refusing a judge’s order to accept a $8.1 SAFER grant he’d declined to based on “hidden costs” – mainly a no-layoff clause – associated with the grant he felt the city could not afford. He later accepted the grant.

Carley said the grant awarded to Wyandotte has no such no-layoff clause. Carley said after the grant ends, the city may keep the new firefighters on through attrition, apply for a SAFER retention grant to keep them on, or, in a “worst-case scenario,” lay them off if the city’s financial situation does not improve.