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Watertown lawmakers to discuss SAFER fire department grant

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WATERTOWN — Two new council members could lead to a different perspective on using a federal grant to hire city firefighters.

The City Council on Monday night will discuss whether to apply for a federal grant to hire four, five or seven firefighters to save money in overtime costs.

Three years ago, the city received a $561,202 federal Staffing for an Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER grant to hire four firefighters, which saved the city about $1.6 million in overtime over three years.

That SAFER grant, distributed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, quietly ran out in October. Now it’s time to apply for another round of SAFER grants.

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