WILMINGTON, OH (FOX19) – The city of Wilmington has announced layoffs and cuts for city employees.
Four full-time firefighters are cut, along with 11 part-time positions. Firefighters Union president, Matt Brown, says he hopes to maintain the level of protection to the community. He says there was no time to negotiate or any warnings about the layoffs.
The layoffs are effective immediately.
Also, as part of the cuts, the fire dept. will now operate out of one location, the fire station downtown. Station 2 will only be used for administrative offices.
The following positions are affected:
- The layoff of our intermittent firefighters as required by contract and Ohio Revised Code
- The layoff of one full-time firefighter per shift for a total of four. This will parallel a similar reduction in officers in the Police Department by attrition
- The layoff of one full-time and one part-time employee in the Parks & Recreations Department
- The layoff of two full-time employees in the Service Department
- The layoff of one full-time employee in the Service Administration
- Other personnel restructuring such as the Service Director taking over building inspections and the Assistant Fire Chief taking over Fire Inspections
- City Council members have agreed to take a ten percent reduction in pay.
- Other elected officials have agreed to double their contribution to their health insurance from ten percent to twenty percent
"In January, I stated in the State of the City report that we would have to address our falling revenue situation because we have a budget deficit-to-revenue of $1.9 million in the general fund," said Mayor David Raizk. "We have worked exhaustingly to find revenue and cost-cutting measures but since approximately 80% of our budget is personnel we have to make some tough, heartbreaking decisions."
A voluntary furlough program is also being used by several employees.
In addition to these personnel actions, the city will implement significant budget cuts and cost-saving measures.
"We believe that these measures will not jeopardize the public safety or diminish the high quality of service that we provide our citizens," said Raizk.
Wilmington was severely affected by the pullout of the DHL airpark, which cost several Wilmington residents their jobs.
"Since the cessation of operations at the airpark, not only has our revenue diminished but also the demand for our services, including safety services, has decreased," said Raizk. "We are right-sizing to more closely align ourselves with revenue and demand for service."