The special Peoria City Council meeting to approve the 2018-2019 budget, instead offered council members a briefing on the latest proposed cuts to the fire department.
Fire Chief Chuck Lauss initially proposed decommissioning Truck 14, which firefighters said would have created a safety gap in their ability to cover the city.
Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich says the latest proposal for the department to recapture $900,000 includes not filling three 40-hour positions, those being an inspector, hazmat, and EMS positions. In addition, the plan calls for the elimination of three so-called ‘bouncing firefighter’ positions and a reduction in required firefighter physicals.
Urich says, “this would, I think, allow us to go forward. I think it’s a good compromise and everyone at this point I think from at least the administration and the union are in concurrence with this.”
But in a letter to Firefighters Local 50 members, the Union President says the union does not formally support any proposed cuts.
Still, this proposal likely signals agreement to move forward with a final budget vote December 5th. Under that proposal the total budget for 2018 would include nearly $206 Million in revenue with expenses of nearly $199 Million.