The Fort Wayne City Council approved the reallocation of the needed funds.
The $800,000 hole in the Fort Wayne Fire Department’s budget has been filled. Money will be taken from the City Works and Parks Department’s and transferred to the fire department’s bank account.
Tuesday, The Fort Wayne City Council approved a plan to reallocate $400,000 from the parks department to the fire department. John Perlich is the spokesperson for Mayor Tom Henry’s office
“We think the funding mechanism that we have in place now is going to get us where we need to be. We have a new academy of firefighters starting and plenty of funding for parks and roads,” said Perlich.
“It was determined that those two divisions could withstand losing some funding but still do the things they need to do,” said Perlich.
The $800,000 has now been reallocated to the fire department but at the expense of both the Public Works and Parks Department’s.
City Councilman John Shoaff, (R-At Large) and Mitch Harper (R-4th) voted against reallocating the funds. Tuesday, tensions ran high when Harper questioned City Controller Pat Roller, asking why Fort Wayne Fire Chief Amy Biggs has been absent from recent City Council meetings.
“I frankly asked the City controller that I would hope the fire chief has not been directed to not attend City Council meetings,” said Harper.
“She has not,” said City Controller Roller.
“It made perfect sense to have Pat and Rusty (Director of Public Safety), at the table for these talks and tonight it just happened to be Pat because Rusty is out of town,” said Perlich.
“It has been very striking. I know I’m not the only one talking about it. But the fire chief being absent from council meetings has been noted and notable,” said Harper.