First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 AM on 4/18, issued at 10:44 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Local fire stations on the chopping block in wake of budget crunch

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 6/28/2013 11:47 pm
Jacksonville, Fla.-- Action News has learned which fire stations in the city could be closing because of budget cuts.

Chris and Jessica Scull live in the Bartram park area. Just down the road there are signs of a new fire station. The city broke ground just 3 days ago. They were surprised when we told them this fire station is now on the chopping block.

"We are expecting a baby, so it's worrisome for me," said Chris.

We found out the Bartram Park fire station is not the only one in jeopardy.  Three other fire stations face closures too. Fire Station 11 on Talleyrand Avenue, Fire Station 12 on Atlantic Boulevard and Fire Station 14 on Herschel Street could all be closed.

We also obtained a list of 10 trucks the fire chief recommended to be taken out of service. In all the cases, longer response times were noted.

The cuts are outlined in city documents that call for departments to outline money-saving measures. The city has a $ 64 million shortfall in the proposed budget for next year. JFRD was supposed to cut $12 million, but right now the department's plan only accounts for $7 million in cuts.

We went right to the mayor and asked how big of a hit public safety has to take. He blamed the police and fire pension fund. "We believe in public safety," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "We presented a plan that deals with city finance, that's the key," said Brown.

He says without approval of his pension plan, cuts have to be made. Right now, this is all a proposal. If the pension plan is approved by city council, all of this could change. But that plan is moving slowly, as some council members are skeptical of the proposal.

The mayor will submit his final budget next month. It has to be passed by the end of September.

3 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

murphette88 - 6/29/2013 7:33 PM
0 Votes
How screwed up can their priorities be?

TOMMY - 6/29/2013 6:12 AM
2 Votes
Got to be able to pay for the upgrades at the stadium somehow, what's next the police and then more teachers and then elderly services, we have to keep khan happy. Lets screw the taxpayers more, bring in more illegal immigrants, let them suck our welfare system dry, and spend more money overseas!

Stumpy - 6/29/2013 5:54 AM
2 Votes
Once again the city is using the fear factor to get what they want. First, they don't repair the roads, now its the fire stations. But when the city wants something like that outrageous courthouse, how is it that the money is available then? That courthouse is the biggest waste of tax payer money in the past hundred years. To pay $300,000,000+ for a court house that's warranty has run out before everyone even moved in is crazy. The builder who ripped off the city for that much money should warranty the building for at least ten years, not ten days. There's major bridges and other transportation projects that are cheaper than that damn building, yet the money was certainly available for that. And if the football team needs something, I bet they'd find money for that too. But when it comes to schools, roads, and protection of the public, then there's no money. I think it's time to recall the city's top government officials and hold a new election, putting people in place that can manage the money more responsibly than those that are in office now, as all they're doing is screwing over the public. Once this so called budget shortfall becomes a distant memory, you'll watch, the city's going to want something else new and they'll have the money. Strange how the city can host another basketball game with the military, which they lost so damn much money on the last time, but they can't afford to keep open a few fire stations. This is a bunch of crap, and the city needs to be called out on it. It is supposed to be Government for the People, by the People, not Government for a few rich jerks who want to enrich themselves further at tax payer expense. Jacksonville, before your parties, travel, hosting of basketball games, the football team, etc... your required to provide fire and police protection for all, schools for the kids, safe roads to drive on, etc... It's time you get your damn priorities straightened out.
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.