SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Fire Department has lost a $7.8 million federal grant for the first new fireboat in 50 years because it didn't spend the money in time.

The San Francisco Chronicle says procedural delays sunk the plan, which began in late 2009 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency tentatively awarded the city a port security grant for a new boat.

It took until January 2011 for the feds to sign off on the city's request to use a grant from Chevron to help cover the costs.

Then there were delays in the bidding process that ran up against the deadline.

Even enlisting the Firefighters Union in a last-minute round of lobbying, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi couldn't salvage the deal.

Fire Commission member Steve Nakajo tells the newspaper the loss is a "huge disappointment."



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