Portland City Council approves budget cuts for city - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland City Council approves budget cuts for city

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Portland City Council approved next years' fiscal budget which means several bureaus will face cuts and several people will lose their jobs.

The city council described this as a tough budget to put together.

Starting July 1, service provided by the police and fire bureaus will be impacted, and in the end, 26 city workers will lose their jobs.

More than two dozen firefighters showed up in solidarity for the budget vote; however, a plan to reduce staff size at some fire stations was approved.

Under this new budget, Station 8 in the Kenton neighborhood and Station 2 in the Parkrose neighborhood will see a downsizing of firefighters and the elimination of some fire trucks.

"It's very unfortunate. I think it's unfortunate for the citizens because of the safety aspect. We can show up with 8 people but now we'll be showing up with four and you can only do so much with four people," said Lt Don Wagner with the Portland Fire Bureau.

The police bureau will also see a reduction in some services.

Overall the city will eliminate about numerous positions, most of which will be taken care of as people retire or leave their jobs, but 26 people will have to be laid off.

"Time and time again I get that affirmation as a Portlander of the great work that our workers do and that's why it is painful to me as it is to the rest of this council that we have to lay anyone off and that we have to make these kinds of cuts in a budget," said Mayor Charlie Hales.

The Portland fire bureau's dive team will also be eliminated, which means the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office dive team would be responsible for any and all calls on the Willamette, Columbia and Sandy rivers.

The city council is hoping the economy turns around soon so it will be able to return money to some of these bureaus and rehire some of its workers.

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