East St. Louis making cuts in fire department - KMOV.com

East St. Louis making cuts in fire department

(KMOV) -- The East St. Louis mayor announced on Monday that the city will eliminate 18 full time positions.

The number of fire houses will drop from 4 to 3. The fire house rumored to be closing is the one of 17th and Lincoln. The number of firefighters per shift will drop from 12 to 9.

The city will have to depend on mutual aid, from cities like Washington Park, Centreville, and St. Louis.

A city finance meeting on September 26th will make the cuts official.

If approved, 18 people will be out of a job on October 1st.

The move should save the city a million dollars annually.

The 3 reasons for the lack of funding were revenue from the casino. The city hoped to $10.7 million, but actually received $9.8 million. The second reason was the city had to pay out police back pay from '06, '07, '08. The last reason was because of a state funding shortfall.

Based on the current union contract East St. Louis must have 58 firefighters, with the cuts they will only have 45.

There also is the question while they are scene if they will have enough man power based off the state mandate.

Why are there no police officers on the chopping block? Mayor parks said his city has too much crime.

The mayor knows letting the firefighters go may have consequences, but said the city had to come up with a plan to keep East St. Louis afloat.

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