Findlay working to save 9 firefighter jobs - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Findlay working to save 9 firefighter jobs

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FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Findlay officials are working on saving the jobs of nine firefighters.

After a 1 percent income tax was denied by voters last year, Findlay city council approved laying off 20 firefighters and closing Station 4.

Now, four months into 2013, the city is in better financial condition than previously projected, so Mayor Lydia Mihalik sent a proposal to city council asking to reduce the number of firefighters being laid off, from 20 to 11.

"We had a good, healthy carry forward from managing our 2012 budget," explained Safety Service Director Paul Schmelzer. "We closed some old engineering projects and put that money back into Capital Improvements."

The extra funds will allow the city to retain nine firefighter positions. The readjusted staffing levels would mean 14 firefighters per shift, and would allow the city to keep Station 4 open.

But the solution is temporary, and will only last until next year.

"That will give us the next nine months to evaluate, really, where we are with regards of going back to the 1 percent income tax," Schmelzer said.

Residents living near Station 4 were happy with the news.

"I am thrilled with that decision, since they did have a fire here one day, and it only took about 10 seconds for them to get here," said Diane Stultz.

City council will have the first chance to vote on the change May 7.

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