Louisville metro council hits the snooze button on firehouse repairs--get a load of what bad shape some are in!! This is pitiful and sad. Stay after them, Louisville jakes!
Firehouse repair proposal rejected
The Louisville Metro Council voted last night against a plan to spend up to $700,000 in excess funds to rehabilitate dilapidated firehouses in the old city of Louisville but promised firefighters that members would seek $1million during the next fiscal year to repair them.
The pledge drew skepticism from some of the firefighters present at City Hall last night.
A union vice president promised that if the council does not come up with the money for the fiscal year that will begin July 1, the union will remember the vote in endorsing candidates later this year.
"They may want our endorsements later, and they may not get them," said Craig Willman, vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 345 and a captain with Louisville Fire & Rescue.
Capt. Carl Mauldin, president of the union, said he was hopeful the council would come through with the money as promised. "I've got to have faith in what they said," he said.
Five Democrats sided with all 11 Republicans to defeat the measure — with some of the negative votes coming from council members who had signed on as co-sponsors when the ordinance was filed last week.
Firefighters at some of the older firehouses say years of neglect have left the buildings where they work and sleep in terrible condition. Fire stations in suburban areas are generally newer and in better shape.
At the city's oldest firehouse, on Sixth Street near York Street, paint won't stick to interior walls on the south side because water seeps in through the old mortar.
Plaster has fallen away from the wall in the room where firefighters lift weights. Bricks that were behind the plaster have come loose from the mortar and can be removed from the wall.
One wall has buckled, which shifted the window frame. Now the panes of glass are held in place with duct tape.
Capt. Scott Hogan said an engineer refused to remove a window air conditioning unit because he was afraid the back wall of the firehouse, which was built in 1871, would give way.
It's not uncommon for a firefighter to wake up and find his bedcovers littered with paint that has peeled off walls or overhead ducts, Hogan said.
"It's been in disrepair for a long time, but over the years it has really gotten worse," said Hogan, who began his career at the firehouse in 1979.
Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12th District, said it was such problems that prompted him and Madonna Flood, D-24th, to sponsor the ordinance redirecting the funds to the firehouses.
Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson had opposed the ordinance at first but said he thought the legislation became "responsible" when the council amended it to require that the money first be used to cover a budget shortfall, if there is one at the end of the fiscal year.
Abramson said, however, that he would rather not spend a lot of money on the firehouses until the government can review the existing buildings and determine whether any should be closed, replaced or consolidated.
Republicans and one-third of the Democrats voted against the measure, saying the budget process, which will begin next month, is the correct time to appropriate money for the repairs.
And they argued that the ordinance could actually delay getting money to the firehouse work because it could be six months or more before city accountants determine if the city finishes the fiscal year in debt.
"If we pass this, it will put the Appropriations Committee in an impossible position in June," said Hal Heiner, R-19th, chairman of the committee.
James Peden, R-23rd, who signed on as a sponsor of the ordinance despite reservations, voted against it, saying that the amendment that would first use the money to cover a shortfall gutted the measure.
But Peden, an assistant chief of the Highview Fire Department, said he has received promises from 13 of the council's 26 members to put $1million into the next budget for the firehouses if Abramson's budget proposal doesn't include the money.
Suburban fire districts, like Highview, levy their own taxes and don't depend on an appropriation from the metro government to pay firefighters and keep buildings repaired and updated.
Blackwell said after the meeting that he hopes that the council follows through on its pledge to give the department money to repair the buildings during the next fiscal year.
"I guess we accomplished what we set out to do, if we can count on our people to keep their word," Blackwell said.
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04-26-2004, 09:55 AM #1
Louisville (KY) govt denies $$ to fix firehouses"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
--General James Mattis, USMC
04-26-2004, 05:03 PM #2
Ironically...if these fire houses were apartment buildings owned by slumlords, the city of Louisville would have them condemned faster than Jeff Gordon running a lap at the Daytona 500."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
04-26-2004, 06:04 PM #3Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
Ironically...if these fire houses were apartment buildings owned by slumlords, the city of Louisville would have them condemned faster than Jeff Gordon running a lap at the Daytona 500.
04-26-2004, 06:06 PM #4
With this past 500 you would have to go 8 spots to get to Jeff... so in theory there are 7 faster ways to see them condemn the slums!
1.#8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2.#20 Tony Stewart
3.#22 Scott Wimmer
4.#29 Kevin Harvick
5.#48 Jimmie Johnson
6.#01 Joe Nemechek
7.#38 Elliott Sadler
8.#24 Jeff Gordon
... and yes I am Jr. fan!
04-26-2004, 10:50 PM #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
- S. Jersey/Northern Delaware
I'll bet that if the Louisville City Offices needed walls, painting, or re-modling it would be a done deal. - But fix the Firehouses, Places where men/women have to live for 24hrs. at a time - It's a governmental disgrace. Why is it we're the heros and we're the people that others respect and look up to until of course we ask for something in return than we're told "We'll look into that" or "Sorry fellas..no funds available" - Just one more reason to never trust a politician.
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