Peoria Fire Department could get smaller with new budget - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria Fire Department could get smaller with new budget

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

We are one step closer tonight to the city of Peoria's 2018 budget.

Tuesday night, council members first discussed the proposed budget plan that includes staff cutbacks to fill a budget gap of some $8 million.

The hot topic of the night included eliminations at the Peoria Fire Department.

The proposed plan includes decommissioning a fire engine at the station on Northmoor and possibly leaving 11 vacant positions unfilled. 

The idea made 2nd District Councilman Chuck Grayeb uneasy. He cited safety reasons for his skepticism.

"We should shut this down now, this dangerous discussion which will get people killed in this community," said Grayeb. "We should allow no more discussion along these lines."

Meanwhile, at-large councilman Zachary Oyler did not believe the council should "take items off the table."

"We have revenues that are declining, we have expenses that are skyrocketing with salaries and pension costs, and we don't know how we're going to fix those problems," said Oyler.

Despite Oyler's plea, and a motion to remove that engine from the chopping block, the elimination of that fire engine will be brought up once the city discusses the budget plan at next Tuesday's special council meeting.

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