Station 1: Back in Action
Green Bay-- A Green Bay fire station is back in business thanks to a late-night decision by the mayor and city council to reverse an order that stopped firefighters from logging certain overtime. The freeze was an attempt to help close a budget gap but the decision does come with a catch.
The mayor wants to make up $248,000 the city has overspent and says cutting overtime in non-emergency situations could help him do that but the result of changing schedules meant firefighters would not staff station one. That only lasted a few days.
For now, overtime pay or not, "Station 1" will be staffed. At city hall, Mayor James Schmitt still has a city budget "in the red." "The council thinks we should continue to accrue that overtime so we have to find other cost reduction measures," Schmitt said. The overtime freeze was reversed at Tuesday's council meeting. After hearing displeasure from several aldermen Mayor Schmitt has given the council 30 days to hash out a plan of its own. "If the fire department has other suggestions, otherwise we are going to look at other departments as well," Schmitt added.
Green Bay Council President Tom De Wane says every department is on the table but, police and fire are priority one. No word if the council faces an ultimatum if it fails to agree on cuts.