Three firefighters would be hired for two years under a federal grant the Turlock City Council will consider seeking Tuesday night.
The council also will hear a presentation on safety issues related to trains carrying crude oil through Turlock.
Fire Chief Tim Lohman proposes applying for the $585,627 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It would cover two years’ worth of salary and benefits for three firefighters added to the current force of 42. The city would not have to help with the cost or keep the employees on after the two years.
Lohman said the new firefighters would fill vacancies at Station 3 in the northeast part of Turlock, which have been covered through overtime.
A total of $340 million is available in the federal fiscal year through the program, known as Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.
Lohman will brief the council on Bakken Shale crude oil, pumped from North Dakota wells and shipped by rail to refineries around the nation. Some of the trains pass through Turlock and other San Joaquin Valley cities on their way to Bakersfield.
Critics have raised concerns that the tank cars could cause spills or explosions. McClatchy News Service reported that spills, which averaged 21,000 gallons per year from 1975 to 2012, topped 1 million gallons in 2013. An explosive derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killed 47 people that year.
The oil industry has said the trains, which operate under federal rules, are safe.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda:
▪ Applying for a $125,000 state grant to add a children’s playground and exercise equipment to Swanson Centennial Park, along Countryside Drive. The money would come from the state’s Land and Water Conservation Fund. The city would contribute an equal amount.
▪ Recognition of the women’s soccer team at California State University, Stanislaus, which reached the NCAA Division II quarterfinals.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Turlock City Council
WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 156 S. Broadway, Turlock