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Budget Blunder Saves Firefighters' Jobs

Budget Blunder Saves Firefighters' Jobs

Newport News via YellowBrix

December 09, 2010

It’s a mistake that could have cost the city a four million dollar hole in the budget, but today Mayor Linda Thompson says she has a solution.

Firefighters jobs are saved. Thanks to an idea to sell parcels of land that several parking garages sit on.

The mayor says the money from the sale will solve the firefighter problem and the clerical mistake.

“Fortunately our mistake was discovered early in the process and it gives a chance to put in corrective action,” the mayor said.

The mistake discovered Monday left a 4.5 million dollar hole in the 2011 city budget. But, it sparked the mayor to scrounge up ideas. In the end selling off those six parcels could make enough to kill two birds with one stone.

“We’re proposing, since we have three parcels of land, the pay covers debt bonds and puts 1.1 million into the fireman’s jobs for now,” said the mayor.

The parcels value still needs to be assessed privately, but according to the county it could be worth more than eight million dollars.

The mayor said today they are talking with the Harrisburg Parking Authority and hope they will make the purchase. City Council still needs to sign off on the proposal which would not only save firefighters’ jobs but also the station in jeopardy of closing.

“This is a clean deal with the city and parking authority without lawyers fees… I think that’s something we can work with…,” the mayor said.