East Lansing Fighting for Fire Protection Funding

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

The East Lansing fire department responds to more than 200 emergencies every month, and nearly 40 percent of those calls are at Michigan State University.

Now the department is facing the effects of Gov. John Engler's cuts in fire protection grants to local governments. City officials said the department will receive $470,000 less in state funding, but the department said it's already operating on a tight budget.

Meanwhile, officials in Gov. Jennifer Granholm's office said the new governor is doing her best to address budget needs around the state. However, they said, she has a tough job because she's dealing with a nearly $2 billion deficit.

City leaders said East Lansing could lose a fire station and lay off 12 firefighters if funding is not restored to the city, but they said they're confident the new governor can reverse the situation before it's too late.

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