Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant program awards have been suspended for several reasons including Hurricane Sandy, according to Barb Olsen, program coordinator for Trenton.
"The election was one reason for the delay and, more than anything, Hurricane Sandy," Olsen said. "FEMA deployed a lot of personnel to hurricane relief."
Officials at the Trenton Fire Department applied for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant and are awaiting a response from FEMA. In the grant application, officials requested six new firefighters.
If approved, the Trenton Fire Department could receive over $145,000 for each of six requested firefighters, which would pay salary and benefits for the new hires for up to three years.
"We have no idea how many, if any, new hires will be granted," Olsen said. "There's no guarantee."
FEMA officials hope to get awards out to municipalities before the end of the year.
Awards were being dispersed at the same time as another FEMA grant, which is also causing a delay.
"They (FEMA) hope to have the grants awarded by the end of the year, but they realize what cities are going through financially," Olsen said.