FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Drastic cuts could be made to Findlay firefighters and their services. The mayor says without a levy renewal this November, firefighters could lose their jobs and one station could close.
Fate is up to voters this election. If they choose not to renew the city's quarter percent income tax major changes could happen, such as closing a fire station and laying off firefighters. On Monday night, the mayor informed 23 firefighters that if the tax fails to pass, they will be laid off, which is one-third of the force.
"Cuts are drastic and their not well-received," said Matt Cooper, Local 381 president.
The firefighters were notified of layoffs based on their seniority, but even the newest firefighters have been with the department for more than nine years.
According to the fire union president, Fire Station No. 4 will likely be chosen to close because it is the farthest from the city center. The nearest station is nearly three miles away, which means people living nearby will see slower response times.
The mayor says this can all be avoided if residents vote in favor of the renewal, which will generate $4.2 million. Otherwise, the city will be seeing $6 million worth of red.
"We need to pass this renewal in order to maintain the level of services that people here have come to love and respect," said Mayor Lydia Mihalik.
Firefighters say they realize this renewal has been receiving opposition, but want residents to remember it will help the city move forward.
Members of Local 381 say they will continue to work with the mayor's office to determine the next step.
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