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Watertown’s fire chief braces for loss of firefighter under city’s budget

Updated: May. 4, 2020 at 2:42 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown’s fire chief says it looks like the department will have to find a way to do without 1 firefighter - a position city lawmakers are strongly considering cutting.

Watertown's new proposed budget looks at cutting 11 positions within the city fire departmant, police department and Civil Service Employees Association combined.

One of those layoffs could be a Watertown firefighter.

Chief Matthew Timerman says it's going to be a loss, but says it seems inevitable.

"There's only so much equipment and contracted expenses you can cut. Eventually, you're just left with personnel. It pains me to say that, but when we're looking at the proposed deficit we're looking at, to make up for the difference in income there, I think staff just found out there's no way to do it without looking at personnel," he said.

On top of that, Timerman says the 3 vacant positions in the fire department would stay vacant under the spending plan.

Watertown City Council meets Monday night at 7 p.m. The public hearing begins at 7:30 p.m.

People who want to voice their opinions at the hearing can do it online. They need to register ahead of time.

The proposed budget can be seen here.

Watch the meeting here

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