INDIANAPOLIS – Although the Indianapolis Fire Department announced it’s closing and consolidating several of their stations, officials are expected to propose a bigger budget, asking for millions more.
The expected budget for 2017 comes in at about $197 million, an increase of more than $6 million from 2016.
The budget shows employee salaries and a projected increase in federal grant spending make up the new expenses.
The department wants to consolidate Station 16 in Butler Tarkington with Station 32 in Broad Ripple. They also want to do the same with two stations in Franklin Township along with building a central station in the area.
The department is looking to complete these cost-saving measures soon, but not everyone is on board.
City-County Councilor Aaron Freeman, whose district covers Franklin Township, opposes the current proposal and doesn’t understand the need for more money.
“Of my six years on the city council, I have not been a part of a merger or consolidation plan that has saved money,” said Freeman. “I would direct you back to IPD and Marion County Sheriff's Department merger that was supposed to save all this money, but it didn't save any money. This fire station consolidation is going to put public safety at risk, it's not going to save any money.”
City-County Councilors are expected to vote on the proposal in October.