The city of Youngstown says it is moving forward with a plan to brown out fire stations after the fire department's overtime budget has been wiped out.
Finance Director Kyle Miasek told the city council finance committee Monday night, through the first five months of 2020, $116,000 has been spent on non-holiday overtime. The fire department's budget for 2020 was $110,000.
"We have now used up our entire budget and given all the of the circumstances that we are going to be addressing going forward with income tax shortfall, with other revenue decline, we believe and in the administration, that we are going to begin browning out fire stations as a way of dealing with living within the means of the budget," Miasek said.
While COVID-19 played a role with five firefighters testing positive and Station No. 1 getting quarantined, the majority of the overtime is due to call-offs which are up 78% from the first five months of 2019. So far, there have been 303 call-offs in 2020, compared to 170 in 2019.