LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - The Lorain Fire Department has received more than $3 million to help with a budget shortfall that forced more than 20 layoffs.
The city laid off 22 firefighters and closed down a fire station July 2, after the city said it was facing a $3.5 million deficit.
Wednesday morning Ohio congresswoman Marcy Kaptur announced the city would receive a two-year, $3 million federal grant to help with budget cuts. The city applied for the grant in March.
The funds are from FEMA's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. Kaptur is a member the House Fire Caucus and a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds FEMA operations.
"This is obviously great news," Kaptur said. "Credit should go to the Lorain firefighters, who have actively organized in recent weeks and made their case effectively and persuasively, and to Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer and Lorain Fire Chief Tom Brown. Their diligence in helping to find a solution brought about this two-year solution to an immediate problem."
The money will be used to bring back the 22 laid-off firefighters. They've been out of work since July 1.
Ritenauer expects the grant to be implemented in the next two months. A path to long-term stability for the fire department in Lorain may include a fire levy on the ballot this November, officials said.
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