Monday, August 15, 2011

Antigo Cuts Fire, Police Positions as a Result of Cuts in State Shared Aids

City council makes cuts in staff at fire, police department Wednesday. (Antigo Daily Journal, 8/11/2011)

Excerpt:   Proving that no area is immune from budget cutbacks, city of Antigo aldermen voted unanimously Wednesday to trim three positions from the fire department.

Meeting as a committee of the whole at the end of an already-long evening of sessions, aldermen voted 8-0 to cut five city personnel in order to meet a $250,000 reduction in state aid payments and a state-imposed freeze in the tax levy.

“It’s not one of the things anyone wants to do,” Mayor Bill Brandt said. “It’s just one of the realities of the way things are.”

The cuts include one clerical position at City Hall and moves into the ranks of public safety personnel, an area which has traditionally been spared.

The most seriously affected will be the fire department, which will see one person trimmed from each of the three shifts. One of those jobs is vacant, but the reductions will require two layoffs as well.

The plan drew criticism from Fire Chief Jon Petroskey, who warned in his monthly report of “reduced services” to city residents.

“I do not agree with this strategy and I am very concerned about public safety,” he said.

At the session, Lt. Rick Wild stressed the high level of training firefighters receive and their ability to perform a myriad of other services. He said the city should not be looking at trimming its “highly skilled” employees.

Also affected will be the ranks of the Antigo Police Department, which will not fill a now-vacant patrolman’s position.

Brandt said the fire and police reductions come after years of the city trimming equipment purchases, street repairs, and personnel in other areas

Other county and municipal budget news.
Adding up the budget numbers in the Fox Valley.  (8/14/2011)
Sauk County officials ask for input.  (8/12/2011
Marathon County ranks services to address $500,000 budget shortfall.  (8/12/2011)
City of Beloit faces a challenging budget process.  (8/8/2011)
Fond du Lac city manager sez Governor's tools not enough to offset cuts.  (8/2/2011)
Manitowoc mayor asks department heads for 10% budget cuts.  (8/2/2011)

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