City unveils budget changes ahead of Wednesday’s public hearing

NORWICH – The City of Norwich Common Council received a revised 2016 budget last week that, amidst further cuts across multiple departments, includes restoration of funds to the city’s fire department to prevent layoffs.

Revisions include the addition of a nearly $86,800 grant awarded through FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

Although the initial SAFER grant awarded in July allowed the city more than $560,000 to pay three full-time firefighter positions, city officials questioned at the time how they would continue funding those positions after the grant expires. They accepted only a portion of the grant to continue funding one firefighter position for a two-year period in order to keep the department at 15 full-time employees for the time being.

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