The Salisbury City Council rejected a $1.4 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that would have funded 12 new firefighting positions over the next two years.
During last night’s work session Council member Debbie Campbell cited a bureaucratic requirement that the governing body approve the application before being submitted.
The Salisbury Daily Times also reports that Council President Terry Cohen said she wanted to know how the new positions would be affected if the city had to lay off staff members.
But this drew a sharp response from Council member Shanie Shields who told her colleagues that it is more important to get a dozen new firefighters on the street.
She noted that there was no malice in the oversight.
City fire officials say they need the grant to cut down on response times.
The department has not been able to hire new firefighters in light of the economic downturn.