The Herald News has an updated article about the City of Joliet accepting the federal grant for firefighters:

 The Joliet City Council ended a lingering dispute over a $2 million federal grant for firefighters by voting 7-2 Monday to take the money.

The vote came after assurances from city staff that not only would Joliet get eight firefighters paid for by the federal government, but the city would save nearly $2 million that otherwise would have been spent on fire department overtime.

Doubters said those savings could be washed away by a grant requirement that the firefighter force be fully staffed for the two years that Joliet gets the money. That requirement can be waived, but opponents said they were uneasy with the possibility that Joliet would have to pay to replace any firefighters who retire.

Thanas said the city does need to control overtime to balance its budget, and hiring firefighters with federal money is a way to do it. The other option, he said, would be to cut services by not staffing ambulances and closing fire stations.

The city has 201 firefighters now. The new hires will bring the firefighter force up to 209.

The police force, meanwhile, is down 60 positions from its peak number before the recession hit. The decline is due mainly to the number of police officers who took an early retirement incentive.

The entire article can be found HERE.