State

Missing quarter delays Ill. fire department grant

LINCOLN – A mere 25 cents temporarily stood between a central Illinois fire department and a federal grant.

The city of Lincoln received a $39,506 federal grant in 2009 for a new exhaust system at its fire department, the (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported. Lincoln spent $39,505.75, but didn’t return the extra quarter.

Fire Chief Mark Miller was told last week that he wouldn’t be able to accept a new $32,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency unless the money was returned.

He described the process as “just paperwork,” noting “they had to close that [previous] grant out.”

However, Miller said that tracking down verification on all the money spent during the four-year-old project took the better part of three days. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder then wrote a refund check to FEMA.

Miller said he called the department to make sure they had the money in hand.

“I was not going to take any chances,” he said.

The new grant money, which will be used to aid fire inspections and for the department’s building and safety office, is expected in a few weeks.

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Information from: The Pantagraph, http://www.pantagraph.com

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