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ESL firefighter layoffs coming

   Seventeen East St. Louis firefighters will lose their jobs at the end of the month.  The Belleville News-Democrat reports that City Manager Deletra Hudson sent a letter to the firefighters saying the city  "has been forced to make some difficult financial decisions to meet its budgetary obligations."  

   The firefighters had been hired with federal grant money.  When the grant ran out in March, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks said the city found some extra money to keep the firefighters on the job until the end of September.  

   Parks told the paper that he expects eight of the laid off firefighters to be called back when the new city budget kicks in January 1st.

   East St. Louis currently employs 54 firefighters.

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