Jackson Closes 2 of 3 Fire Stations

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

Jackson's financial reality hit home at Tuesday's city council meeting.

The city council voted 6-1 to close two of the city's three fire stations in a move that the city says will save at least $500,000.

"We have a $2.6 million deficit," said Jackson Mayor Karen Dunigan. "We've got to find the money somewhere and the fire department is one of our biggest expenses."

"I used to be a fire chief and I'm confident this is the right decision for the community," said councilmember Kenneth Gaiser. "I'm confident we can provide adequate service out of just one station."

Acting chief David Wooden says that service won't be the same though.

"In certain sections of town it is going to impact the service," said Wooden. "It's going to impact response times."

The cuts come on former Chief Michael Beyerstedt's last day before moving down to Gulfport, Mississippi.

Tuesday's reductions are just the beginning of expected layoffs to both of the city's fire and police departments.

Councilmember Daniel Greer says the cuts are painful but if they don't trim now, someone else will do it for them.

"If we don't right our ship, the state's going to come in and do it for us," said Greer.


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