WILMINGTON — At a meeting on Sept. 23, Town Manager Jeff Hull announced to the Board of Selectmen that the town has received a SAFER grant (staffing for adequate fire and emergency response) from FEMA.
The grant, which is $1.5 million, will go toward the recently approved staffing expansion at the fire department. At the 2019 annual Town Meeting, eight additional fire department positions were approved. The grant will cover 75 percent of the cost of salary and benefits for two years, and 35 percent of those costs for a third year.
Hull also noted that the grant would be on a reimbursement basis. He stated that the application process began in February and was very competitive, and that many other surrounding communities also applied. According to Hull, Stoneham also has received a SAFER grant.
“(Deputy Chief) Bill (Cavanaugh) really did the bulk of the legwork on this,” said Hull.
Board Chair Greg Bendel referred to the grant as a “huge, huge plus for the town.”
“This is the type of grant that I wouldn’t even imagine existed, so I really applaud you and your management team for trying to seek out these. I would encourage you to continue to do so,” Bendel said.