Despite the down economy, Middleboro officials turn thumbs down to a $2 million federal grant that had been generating controversy for months.
The money would have paid for 16 firefighters for two years, with the town picking up a $1 million tab the third year.
The fire chief wanted to dual-train those workers as paramedics who could run a town-owned ambulance service, saying the revenue would help offset the costs.
But the deal went sour when the firefighter’s union didn’t agree to concessions Middleboro selectmen say were needed to pay for the new hires in the third year.
The grant money would have also re-opened the town’s two fire stations full time.
One has been closed outright, and the other is open only 60 percent of the time.