Federal Stimulus May Help Springfield Fire Department Avoid Layoffs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Currently, $1.9 trillion is making its way across the country thanks to the American Rescue Plan, and some of that money may be able to help the Springfield Fire Department (SFD).

SFD is currently facing a $1.4 million budget cut within the City of Springfield’s upcoming fiscal budget.

Springfield Fire Chief Brandon Blough has previously said that staff layoffs are possible due to the cuts. Both Mayor Jim Langfelder and some city aldermen say layoffs are not on the table.

The American Rescue Plan allocates $300 million towards the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for firefighter grants. Of that, $200 million is for “SAFER” grants that can be used for emergency personnel, and $100 million is for “Assistance to Firefighter” grants that can be used on equipment and resources.

However, it’s still an open question as to how much SFD might receive once they apply. Blough says there is nothing guaranteed, but he’s hopeful it can be used to avoid layoffs.

“I absolutely can’t imagine a scenario in which the city would not want us to keep everybody on board utilizing that money,” Blough said. “I don’t think it would be an if, but a how.”

Blough says everything will depend on how much grant money his department receives, how it can be used, and how the city council organizes it.

Blough says he plans to begin applying for the federal stimulus grants next week.

On Thursday, March 11, State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, called for no layoffs at the Springfield Fire Department.

From www.newschannel20.com

More from The Latest News.