Budget Forces Idaho Falls to Close Fire Station
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Falls is periodically closing one of its five fire stations after the fire chief told city councilors the department will exceed its overtime budget by $160,000. The Post Register reports that Fire Chief Dean Ellis on Thursday told councilors that firefighters could be paid overtime from the city’s general reserve budget or a fire station could be closed. Councilors didn’t approve using money from the reserve budget so Ellis opted to close Station No. 5 through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Ellis says the overtime problem is the result of a handful of firefighters injured on the job leading to long-term absences and leaving fewer firefighters available to cover shifts. Councilors are considering leaving that station closed permanently to save money.