Department heads in the city of Ithaca continue to figure out what their operations would look like with a two percent reduction in funding next year.
It’s the directive that Mayor Svante Myrick has given departments as they plan for 2014, and that includes the city’s fire department.
Chief Tom Parsons says it adds up to cuts of $250,000 or more for a department that has had gone out on more than 5,000 calls in the past year.
“We’re beyond the critical point of reducing our personnel,” says Parsons. “This point right now is where it starts to effect what we actually look like to the public.”
“Reductions of personnel will probably mean closing of fire stations, possibly, and maybe looking at some of the services that we provide that we won’t be able to provide anymore,” he said.
Parsons says they respond to a variety of calls, including in the city and town, and in support of other departments.
“Even if we take some of that off the table, I don’t see our numbers going down,” says Parsons. “As our community gets larger, we bring more people to the community, we’re going to be asked to do more service. That’s just the nature of the business.”
City department heads have been asked to submit their budget layouts by August 1.