Mich. mayor hesitant to accept multi-million grant
He worries that after the grant runs out, the city won't be able to afford the new employees that were hired
By Brian C. Louwers
WARREN, Mich. — In these lean financial times, it's tough to imagine a city turning down $2.79 million in federal funds earmarked for hiring firefighters. But Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, concerned about the costs of keeping the new employees after the grant expires, said he's instructed Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt "Skip" McAdams to accept the funds only if the terms can be amended to eliminate a financial burden going forward. "We have to amend it so that we don't get stuck being forced to spend money that we don't have after the grant runs out in 2015," Fouts said last week. "Right now, we're committed to maintaining the level at 114 firefighters. We could temporarily go up by a large amount. We have to look ahead."
Fouts pledged to keep the city's current level of police and fire protection in place after voters overwhelmingly approved a 4.9-mills public safety proposal last August.