Flint city councilman speaks about SAFER grant being denied - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint city councilman speaks about SAFER grant being denied

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(04/10/14) - The city of Flint could be seeing fewer fire fighters after losing out on a nearly $8 million federal grant.

Thursday afternoon, a city councilman is speaking out, asking officials to step in and make sure no firefighters have to lose their job.

The grant was supposed to be a temporary boost - not a permanent solution. Now, the city needs to figure out what's next.

One councilman thinks he knows what should be done to keep firefighters on the job.

"I think the residents of this city should make the city accountable to that millage,"  said City Councilman Wantwaz Davis.

The public safety millage he's talking about was passed by Flint voters in 2012.

"$7.9 million out of that should be given to the fire department," Davis said.

That's the amount the city lost out on when the federal SAFER grant request was turned down. That money would have funded 39 fire department jobs, but the millage will save half of them.

"We have way more than enough money to allocate to the fire department," Davis said.

We checked with the city of Flint - here's where the millage stands now: It's a 6 mill increase for the next five years, and it can only be used for public safety. So far, about $300,000 was used for hiring and maintaining police officers.

The city says they can't fund all 39 fire positions because it would leave them without any money for other departments - or for future funding emergencies.

"We should do anything we can to make that our major point, our focal point, to make sure the residents don't have to be placed in fear and their lives don't have to be threatened," Davis said.

Because the city lost this grant, the fire union tells us two stations could close.

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