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Michigan City to Lay Off Entire Fire Department | Firehouse.com

The layoffs affect all 27 Allen Park firefighters except for the department's fire chief, who is appointed.


Firefighters in Allen Park this morning were still reeling over news that the city Images-29 council voted to issue layoff notices to nearly the entire department.

The notices to the department's 27 firefighters are to be issued today and would take effect in 30 days, although Mayor Gary Burtka said he's "hoping to negotiate to avoid that."

City Administrator Eric Waidelich said today that the city doesn't intend to shutter the department, although the city has talked to other municipalities theoretically about how to share some city services.

The Allen Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to issue the notices on the advice of the lawyer that handles the city's union negotiations, in an effort to win concessions from firefighters, he said.

"The city is doing everything within its power to not lay off firefighters," Waidelich said. "It's just the economy."

The city's 2010-2011 budget was originally projected to break even, with $21 million in revenue to cover $20.7 million in expenses, Waidelich said. But falling property tax revenues and residents' failure to pay taxes and emergency medical service bills has contributed to a $1 million shortfall, he said.

via www.firehouse.com


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