Anchorage AK Budget Proposals Would Restore Money to Fire Department

The Anchorage Fire Department (AK) was threatened with having to shut down a fire station or take some apparatus out of service to save money next year, but not it appears likely to enter the new year with about the same resources as this year.

Early versions of the budget proposed by Mayor Dan Sullivan had the city shutting down one fire station, or at least two pieces of equipment, a ladder truck in Eagle River and a water tender in the Huffman Road area.

But in an Assembly work session, chief fiscal officer Lucinda Mahoney said the city would be able to move more than $400,000 from elsewhere in the fire department budget into the department’s overtime account. The city can also add $600,000 in one-time, leftover revenue from this year to the department’s budget. The two moves will allow the city to keep all fire apparatus in service, she said.

Rod Harris, president of the Fire Fighters Union, said the administration had mistakenly calculated firefighter raises at 3.9 percent next year, when they’re only getting 2.9 percent raises.

If for some reason that doesn’t work or isn’t enough, four Assembly members made proposals to add $1 million to $1.5 million to the department’s budget, if needed.

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