Proposed Morgantown budget would eliminate 12 firefighter grant positions

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Morgantown’s proposed budget for next fiscal year would cut 12 fire department positions.

The budget presented by city manager Paul Brake notes the SAFER Grant employees “will not be maintained going forward and the 12 positions will be eliminated through attrition, not layoffs.”

Jayson Nicewarner, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 313, called the news a blow to the fire department.

“The feeling in the department is just downright disappointment, honestly. It’s an irresponsible move on the city administration’s part, on council’s part, to take us back to standards in the ’60s,” he said. “With the way the city is growing, it’s just an irresponsible move.”

The budget also incles a 10 percent increase in fire fees.

Nicewarner said the city government failed to act to maintain firefighters’ safety and protection of the community.

“The only talk that’s been happening is maybe a few blurbs here and there during a council meeting,” he said. “Time is getting near and we need to figure out something. We have to fund these guys, but it’s all been talk. There’s no real action.”

The proposed budget would go into effect in July if approved.

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