A day of reckoning is on the horizon as the clock ticks down on the federal grant funding a third of the fire department through fiscal year '15. New Bedford's Chief Financial Officer Ari Sky told the City Council during Monday's budget hearing that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will grant the city waivers to allow vacant positions due to retirements or fire fighters leaving to remain that way. The federal SAFER grant requires vacant positions to be filled, but the waivers will allow the city to have a "soft landing" as the money runs out. City Council President Joseph Lopes said the waivers are good, but won't be enough ...

The Mayor's Office plans to spend $75,000 on an analysis of the department this coming year.