The New Bedford City Council will be asked Thursday night to transfer funds to cover the cost of 31 firefighter positions until the end of this fiscal year.

The request comes after funding from a federal SAFER grant ran out two months ago.

Chief Financial Officer Ari Sky tells WBSM's Barry Richard the grant technically expired in December, but through some intelligent accounting, the City stretched the dollars as far as they could. "We did a couple of things to try to make it last a little longer. It's a little bit inside baseball. It's kind of charging back benefits, costs, and things like that. But, basically, we were able to stretch it out a bit. So, we ran out of the balance around the end of March," says Sky.

The original grant was intended to fund 63 positions, and will only cover 32 positions through FY2016.

Sky says savings through the City's health insurance account will be able to cover the remaining 31 positions.

The City Council will decide whether to transfer the necessary $828,000 at their Thursday night meeting.

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