Wyandotte city officials voted unanimously Monday night to accept , which paves the way for four new firefighters to be hired for two years.
Wyandotte Fire Chief Jeffery Carley received word last month that his department had been chosen for the grant and just needed the City Council's OK to hire the additional firefighters.
“This is a great opportunity for us to pick up the four firemen," Mayor Joseph Peterson said. “I’m happy that we got it."
The money comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program. It's a part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program, which is a competitive grant process to help ensure that fire departments nationwide have the frontline firefighters they need to protect their communities.
The funding will provide $351,292 in salaries and an additional $265,584 in benefits for the four firefighters, who would work from March 6, 2013 through March 5, 2015.
When the grant is up in two years, the city will have four options, Carley said. Officials can keep the additional firefighters on staff, they could be retained to fill the ranks of retiring firefighters through attrition, the city could apply for a SAFER retention grant to continue funding their salaries or the four could be laid off.
"Two years from now, a decision will have to be made," City Administrator Todd Drysdale said. "Our hope is not to let them go. ... We don’t feel there is any significant downside for us right now, though, as the grant fully funds their positions for two years."
Councilman Daniel Galeski praised Carley for seeking the grant, saying it's some "of the better news that we’ve had in a long time."