City workers worry lay-offs could affect winter storm response time

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - Many city workers packed the Hirsch Recreation Center in Avondale on Wednesday night. Some public works employees tell FOX19 they're concerned about what trouble the city's proposed lay-offs could blow into town, and what it could mean for your drive to work next year.

Some city workers said they fear this city's recent warm weather has fooled Mayor Mallory into thinking lay-offs won't affect Cincinnati's response time in a winter storm.

Once temperatures drop and snow and ice stick to the ground, road crews move into high gear. However, with City Council looking to cut $51.5 million dollars to balance the budget, 315 city jobs are on the chopping block. That includes 39 positions from AFSCME, the union that represents Public Works employees who clear snow off the roads and clean city streets.

"With what we have, we can't do it all," said Robin Foster, a public works supervisor. "We need our employees. What it's going to mean for the public, is that the roads are not going to be clear for you to go to work. Your trash is not going to be picked up in a timely matter."

The City has about three more weeks to balance the budget.

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