Feb 19, 2014 1:05 AM
The Chico Fire Department will be seeing some new firefighters join the department soon and it's all thanks to a $5.289 million grant from the federal government.
It was a long discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting as council members tried to understand all of the details of this grant and what it means for the cash strapped city budget. In the end, they voted to accept a two-year grant that'll help pay for 15 positions in the fire department. The increase in staff will help reduce response time and decrease property loss due to fire. It'll also re-open the fire station downtown. which was closed due to budget cuts.
"This grant's essential because what it'll allow us to do is re-staff two engine companies that have been closed, we'll be able to end strategically closing stations, or browning out stations, to the Chico community which is essential heading into this wild land firefighting season," explained Bill Hack, Division Chief for the Chico Fire Department.
This grant is the largest of its kind awarded to any city in the state of California and the 8th largest in the country behind cities like Miami and Detroit. The city can also apply for an extension after the first two years of the grant.
The council voted to accept the grant 6 to 1 with Councilmember Stone as the dissenting vote. He says it’s one vote that "he's happy to be on the losing end of."
2 days ago