Saginaw Fire Department to make more than $1 million in cuts - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw Fire Department forced to make more than $1 million in cuts

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(01/28/13) - A multi-million dollar budget deficit is causing major concern in Saginaw. ABC12 learned Monday that under any spending plan, the fire department will take a hit of more than $1 million. Officials have turned to public safety in hopes of fixing the projected deficit.

Thirty-three police and fire jobs are on the line and will be eliminated if a viable option is not proposed by July 1. Even if a new plan is presented and accepted, the fire department will still take the hit.

Tom Raines, union president for the Saginaw Fire Fighters local 102 says the cuts will greatly impact services, mainly response times and staffing levels. Two fire stations are also slated to close. City leaders are looking to find the best way to cover the expected $3.2 million deficit. That was one of the topics at a special meeting on Saturday. The biggest cuts are expected to come from the public safety budget.
City Manager Darnell Earley has been pushing a proposal to have the county sheriff run the city's police department. It's an idea Sheriff William Federspiel has not accepted. Earley says without that deal, layoffs will hit both police and firefighters. He also says efforts will be made to continue to find other options, but he plans to send out pink slips next month. Under the city charter, a balanced budget has to be presented to the council by April 29.

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