Youngstown fire chief presents revenue-raising plan

YOUNGSTOWN — Fire Chief Barry Finley has a long-term plan for raising revenue for his department, but none of it will go into effect this year.

That means funding an increase in overtime in the department for 2018 is still unresolved. But it will be addressed by city council at a finance committee meeting Friday.

The options remain using most of an $85,000 fund to replace the rusted frame of a fire truck or closing stations on a rotating basis and using the three or so firefighters who would work there at other stations to make up for a staffing shortfall to save overtime.

Finley’s long-term plan includes collecting new revenue beginning in January and a city-run ambulance starting no sooner than two years from now.

The 127-member department has eight firefighters off duty with injuries and has used about $100,000 of its budget of $108,000 for overtime this year, Finley said. The department will hit its budgeted amount for annual overtime in a week or so, he said.

Finley told the safety committee tonight it would be a mistake to forfeit a federal grant that is currently paying the majority of the salaries of four firefighters and permanently close a station now because it would almost certainly result in the department not receiving any other federal grants for the next three to six years.

The current grant, obtained last year, expires in fall 2020. At that point, the department can close a fire station, Finley said.

The station he recommended be closed is No. 7 at 141 Madison Ave., near the Youngstown State University campus.

For the complete story, read Friday’s Vindicator and

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