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City hopes for second round of grant funding to retain six firefighters
SAFER grant funding due to expire in September
A meeting was held recently to help Ceres get another two years of federal funding for six firefighter positions. Left to right are Ceres Firefighter Union President Eric Holly, Deputy Chief Bryan G. Nicholes, Congressman Jeff Denham and Ceres Councilmember Bret Durossette. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

It has been almost two years since the city of Ceres was awarded the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant that funded six new firefighters for two years and all associated costs.

With grant funding scheduled to run out at the end of the September and the potential loss of those six firefighter positions, city officials are looking to re-apply for retention funding.

Fire Chief Bryan Nicholes said the city cannot fund the six positions but met recently with Congressman Jeff Denham to seek his support of an application for a retention grant.

While Denham is supporting the application and assigned Field Representative Teresa Kinney to assist, the city cannot apply for a grant since the deadline has been pushed back and not set due to the federal government sequestration.

"The city is hoping to be able to apply and be accepted for the retention grant prior to the current one expiring," said Chief Nicholes. "This would allow us to keep the six current firefighters on the grant for an additional two years and not disrupt services."