No Thanks: Local city turns down hundreds of thousands in federal money

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Several local cities are forced to make some difficult choices in these uncertain economic times.

Federal stimulus money is up for grabs, but it comes with a catch.

Only 4% of cities that applied for these federal dollars were awarded the grant money, money that is meant to replace retired or laid off firefighters.

Cleveland Heights was among those select few who got the thumbs up. In fact they were in line to receive nearly $500,000 but leaders say they don't want it.

They say the consequences weren't worth the benefits.

Fire Chief Kevin Mohr says further layoffs were prohibited during the grant period and a recent union arbitration award had put them in a deeper financial bind.

"We already had an award that needed to be pay for and it was going to paid for through lay offs."

"We were forced to lay off and thereby we could not accept the safer grant."

Other cities have run into this same problem and had to turn down the money, but places like Elyria are successfully using the funds to bring their force back up.

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