TYLER, TX (KLTV) -Tyler City Council moved and approved to deny a $1.58 million federal grant that would have helped hire 12 new firefighters to add to the city's department. Council members say they chose to deny because once that money runs dry, they believe the city would not be able to afford the positions on its own.
"Year three and four could create a financial crisis and create a burden on future councils," District Four Council member Don Warren said. "We have pulled rabbits out of hats for the past two years [making the budget] and frankly, we are running out of rabbits."
The SAFER Grant is federally funded and would cover a significant amount of the new personnel costs for two years. According to the detailed council agenda, the grant would cover $640,998 and the city would cover $213,666 in the first two years. In the third year though, that flips. The city would cover $555,532 and the grant would cover $299,132.
Then from year four forward, the city would cover the full cost of the 12 firefighters.