Lorain approves budget, $1.4M fire cuts expected

Posted at 8:30 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 22:53:47-04

Lorain City Council approved its budget on Thursday night, with $1.4 million in cuts expected for the fire department. 

Facing a budget deficit of nearly $3.6 million, concessions and other cost saving measures brought the shortfall to $2.8 million.

Earlier this week, a budget deal looked imminent, closing the gap through eliminating an income tax credit for residents who work outside of the city of Lorain.

The mayor said the deal fell apart when employees, notably the fire department, balked at concessions. The new budget keeps the income tax exemption in place.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer said 15 to 20 firefighters will be cut from their department, as well as other employees. 

"We intend to continue to work with bargaining units to attempt to reduce cuts," Riteanauer said. He also said the city will need some kind of concessions to reduce the cuts.

Speaking during the council meeting about the cuts, one firefighter said, "...your fire department will be decimated."