Sunday, March 9 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:54:31 GMT
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FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The city of Findlay could soon rehire 11 employees laid off in budget cuts last year.
Mayor Lydia Mihalik says the city's financial situation has improved to the point some of those laid off can be brought back. Under the city's proposed 2014 budget three fire fighters, six police officers, one health department employee and one parks department employee would be rehired.
The improvement in the city's budget is partially due to changes in employee health coverage. The city doubled the deductible paid by employees for doctor visits and other healthcare in 2013.
"We feel like we're more in-line with the private sector, which is who eventually ends up paying the taxes," said Mayor Mihalik.
Mihalik says the added police officers will allow the department to reopen a unit.
"We actually can reintroduce our special assignment unit, which was something that was very popular within the communities," said Mihalik.
Still, firefighters say the six added officers will not be enough.
"It's frustrating for everybody, because we're running with two less trucks. We've got less people responding to a fire. We have no backup, and then when we do recall employees, they don't know what their job security is," said Findlay Firefighters Local 381 President Matt Cooper.
Cooper says one firefighter who the city offered to rehire declined to take his job back, saying he was worried about job security.
Mihalik stresses that the city must be cautious with spending to avoid a situation similar to the one that forced the layoffs in the first place.