Meeting held to discuss concerned budget cuts
NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A town hall meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss the scheduled budget cuts that may affect how fast emergency responders time across the county, but there was good news for one city.
A Miami-Dade fire truck that services North Bay Village will remain safe thanks to the discovery of a mutual aid agreement made in 1972. "One of the previsions that I'd like to read states: 'That the county agrees to provide a better level of fire protection,' how about that? 'To the residents of North Bay Village,'" said North Bay Village Interim City Mgr. Frank Rollason
Two more fire trucks in Haulover Beach along with 59 firefighters could go out of service in the proposed 2013-2014 budget. "We are not going to be like some of these northeastern cities like Detroit. Not during my watch," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
It is the fourth town hall meeting for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Despite the challenges, Gimenez said he is proud of the progress that has been made. "We've been able to work through that so we won't close any libraries. We will have a reduction of services and hours, and we will increase the budget by seven percent," said Gimenez. "We are going to be building the animal shelter."
Many say safety is the main priority. "Well, I'm not exactly sure what is in the budget and what's not in the budget. Fire, police don't seem like the best choice for me but I'm no politician," said Paul Thompson who's concerned about the budget cuts.
Union Representative Rowan Taylor said the deck collapse at Shuckers Bar & Grill in North Bay Village is a prime example. Many of the firefighters are divers and use special equipment in case of an emergency. "You're not just loosing a fire truck, your loosing potential scuba, Jaws of Life and other specialties," said Taylor.
The federal grant of $5.9 Million will help reduce the cuts of county employees, but it is not guaranteed that county will get the grant when it's awarded in October or November.
In the mean time, commissioners will vote on the new budget on Sept. 19.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)