City Council Holds Final Budget Hearings
Some massive layoffs could hit New Bedford's Fire Department this fall, if a federal grant doesn't get renewed for the city.
Fire Chief Michael Gomes presented his budget to the City Council Monday, stating that he'll have to cut about 70 positions if the city fails to win FEMA's "SAFER" grant for another two years. Gomes says its been an "all hands on deck" approach in lobbying Washington send those funds to New Bedford.
That uncertainty is also hampering the department's efforts to institute a capital improvement plan. Councilor-at-large Brian Gomes says he's tired of the city operating without a plan for replacing firefighting equipment and upgrading stations.
The current "SAFER" positions are funded through September, with the city set to re-apply for the grant later this month.