Today in the News Virginian, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors are reported to be considering a decision to apply for a U.S. Homeland Security grant that would allow the county to hire 7 more firefighters. The only catch is that the funding is only available for 2 years. After that period of time the salary for these firefighters will have to come out of our local funds. County Administrator Pat Coffield estimates the position will cost the county between $325,000-$420,000 annually. The decision by the BOS has been put off until the December 9th BOS meeting.
While I can understand the county has a need for more firefighters, my question is, will we be able to afford the positions after the grant has run out. If not, than we will have done a great disservice to these 7 brave new fire fighters who will have been brought on. If we are going to do this we need to plan for their continued financial support now and cut off frivolous spending at our local level.