By David Madden
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — More than $21 million in federal money will keep 85 firefighters on the job in Atlantic City for another two years.
This is the third time in five years the city’s received a SAFER grant from the federal government. The first two covered 51 positions. But with plans for layoffs in the wake of Atlantic City’s financial squeeze, and the rules mandating there would be no grant if anyone was let go, city officials agreed to ask for help for 85, and got it.
“Atlantic City has clearly had its challenges and its troubles,” South Jersey Congressman Frank LoBiondo told KYW Newsradio, “and as we start to pull out of this from a variety of different ways, public safety is extremely important. So without adequate police or fire, we’ve got real problems.”
LoBiondo, a Republican, was quick to heap praise on Democratic Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker for their help on a number of fronts, including securing federal money to help retrain thousands of laid off casino workers.