Chapel Hill gets federal grant for firefighters

Friday, August 7, 2009

CHAPEL HILL - The town's fire department has won a federal grant that will subsidize the salaries of two full-time firefighters, the town administrator said Wednesday.

"Chief Paul Rigsby put in for a grant and it was denied," Administrator Mike Hatten said. "Then, Kenneth Runk, the assistant chief put in for a grant and it was approved. It's a matching grant.

"The grant is for two full-time firefighters over a five year period," Hatten said while discussing the town board meeting scheduled for Monday night.

Chapel Hill will pay about $177,000 for the two firefighters over a five-year period with the employees costing the town $7,000 in the first of the five years, Hatten said. Thereafter, the city's costs will increase to $13,000 the second year, $35,000 the third year, $50,000 during the fourth year and then 100 percent of the firefighters' salaries during the fifth year and thereafter.

"We're excited about it and may have a special called meeting to discuss it in depth," he said. "I'm recommending it for the following Monday," Aug. 17.