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Federal grant to put eight more Utica firefighters to work

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The "Safer Grant" was a topic of conversation Thursday night among members of the Utica Common Council.

On Thursday it was announced that $1 million will be allotted to the city over two years, specifically for the fire department. The federal grant would put eight more firefighters to work.

The compliment would be raised from 127 to 135, at no cost to the taxpayers in Utica. The fire department applied for the grant six months ago.

"Basically, the criteria was that you need to convince the people that approve these grants that you need a certain amount of staffing to keep people safe," Fire Chief Russell Brooks said. "And they were convinced we needed this to keep the people in the city of Utica safe."

The grant needs approval from the Utica Common Council, which Chief Brooks hopes will happen Wednesday, March 16.

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