JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Following heated debate at times the city council committee reviewing city spending restored money to keep three fire stations scheduled to be closed open.
The committee restored $12.6 million to the fire departments budget. The money is targeted to hire on more staff and pay for overtime.
The fire stations 11, 12 and 14 that were proposed to be closed before the council's action that still must be voted on by the full council.
Fire Martin Senterfitt came under fire by some council members for not having all the answers they wanted about the budget.
Senterfitt told the council the department needs $203 million just to maintain services. The budget before the council was for $183.
The council wanted assurancesin voting to increase the fire budget that the three stations would remain open.
"I will keep the stations open. I willrun minimum staff at those stations," saidSenterfitt who expressed concern that overtime will still be an issue for the department next year.