Southington finance board to take up fire department OT Tuesday night

Southington finance board to take up fire department OT Tuesday night


SOUTHINGTON — The Board of Finance hopes to continue discussing fire department overtime costs during a regularly scheduled meeting tonight.

The Board of Fire Commissioners made a request for $336,893 in overtime funding, which was removed from the department’s budget by the finance board. Since the fire board must now come before the finance board for overtime funds, finance officials say they can better track progress on lowering costs.

“The whole thing is to have a conversation around it,” said John Leary, finance board chairman. “What we’re really expecting is a plan of different options that were explored.”

Michael Bunko, fire board chairman, said he understood the finance board’s goal.

“As we need the money, (the finance board) wants an update in terms of where it’s being spent, how it’s being spent,” he said.

However, Bunko expects this will be a difficult year to lower overtime costs. Two newly-hired firefighters are attending training academy and their shifts are being covered by other firefighters on overtime.

“This may be a difficult year for us,” Bunko said. “It’s something that we’re discussing at every meeting.”

The fire board has repeatedly been denied requests for more full-time firefighters. The department has both volunteer and paid firefighters.

Bunko said shifts can’t be short-staffed to bring down overtime costs.

“We still have a public safety obligation,” he said.

The Board of Finance meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 75 Main St. 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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