Jackson firefighters and city get job grant deadline extension

JACKSON, Mich (WLNS) – It’s been a controversial issue in Jackson over the past month.

Should the city accept a federal grant to hire more firefighters?

Both the city and firefighter union met today to hammer out details on the grant offer.

And the decision is a no-decision.

The city has been given one more week to hammer out a deal.

It’s a $1.6 million grant from the federal government that allows the city to hire nine firefighters for two years.

The grant is designed to help cities that have understaffed fire departments.

Right now there are 15 firefighters serving the entire city.

Last week the city council voted to approve the “Safer Grant” but only under certain conditions.

The city wants to make sure it doesn’t end up taking on extra costs for things like healthcare and retirement.

The firefighters union says it’s possible to accept the grant without any big cost to the taxpayer.

The original deadline was supposed to be tomorrow but the Feds came in at the last minute giving them next Sunday as a new deadline.

While there are lots of disagreements both sides say it’s important to do what’s best for the people of Jackson.

“We don’t want to go into this blind. We want to know what we’re paying,” explained Will Forgrave, public information officer for the city of Jackson. “It’s not a definite no. We’re definitely interested in negotiating. It sounds like they are too. Which is good.”

“There have been some misleading comments from the city. There are things that need to be put aside to accomplish that and make the city better for everybody,” said Scott Stoker, president of Summit-Jackson Professional Firefighters Union.

If no agreement is reached before Sunday the grant offer will expire.

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