After voting unanimously to accept an agreement with IAFF Local 452, the Vancouver City Council has also voted unanimously to accept the the $2.3 million SAFER Grant that will hire 13 more Fire Fighters and reopen Fire Station 6 that was closed earlier due to budget restraints. The grant will not cover the $190,000 two-year operation costs of reopening Fire Station 6, nor will it pay the $180,000 in training and equipment costs for the 13 new staff members.
It does give the city 2 years to “fix the broken business model” of the city as expressed this evening my council member Burkman.
Mayor Leavitt did ask the Fire Chief when could citizens expect Fire Station 6 to be reopened and was told that training of the 13 Fire Fighters would begin September 6 with the reopening of Station 6 expected to be towards the end of October or early November.
All council members expressed concern over the city seeing a repeat in 2 years of facing closing of another fire station and laying off emergency personnel, but also stated they had 2 years now to work on correcting the problems the city faces financially.
Whether or not it dawns on them that the priority should be towards the safety of citizens instead of tax increases to pay for unnecessary projects, such as extending Portland’s Light Rail to Vancouver, a $24 Million Stadium or the other boondoggle reasons we hear they desire more money from taxpayers, remains to be seen.