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St. Louis Firefighters Get Federal Grant — on Eve of Layoff Vote

Kevin Killeen
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ST.LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX)–The St. Louis Fire Department gets some good news.   Congressman Russ Carnahan’s office says the department is receiving a $3.2 million grant.   The firefighters union is hoping that will eliminate the threat of layoffs later this week.   

The city’s three member finance board of Estimate and Apportionment is scheduled to vote Friday on a proposal to eliminate 49 fire fighting positions — including 30 positions that are currently filled.  

A vote on the cuts was postponed last week in anticipation of the federal grant.  But members of the board — the Mayor, Comptroller and Aldermanic President – all urged firefighters to find more ways to reduce the department’s growing budget deficit. 

The fire department is now over $2 million dollars in the red, and the budget gap is expected to reach $5 million next year.  The rising budget gap is blamed on pension and health care costs. 

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