UPDATE: Deadline for Jackson to accept grant for additional firefighters extended

Posted at 5:02 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 11:20:16-04

The federal government has extended the deadline for Jackson to accept a nearly $1.7 million grant that would allow the city to hire 9 additional firefighters.

The city originally told its firefighters union a deal had to be in place by October 19. Monday the city announced that FEMA extended the deadline until October 23.

The city wants the union to agree to concessions before accepting the grant. City leaders say they need to account for the cost of training, equipment and overtime before taking the money.

The SAFER grant would pay the salaries for the new firefighters for 2 years. If the city accepts the grant, it hopes to keep the new hires on after the grant runs out by using them to replace retirees.

The union says it only knows of 1 firefighter planning to retire in that time frame.

City leaders and union representatives met to negotiate Monday afternoon.