Manchester Board of Aldermen adds money to fire department's budget to keep station open
MANCHESTER — In order to keep Manchester's South End Fire Station 9 open, money was added to the Fire Department's budget at a special meeting held by Manchester's Board of Aldermen.
On June 27, Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan announced he would be closing Station 9 and reducing staff at another station this Saturday after his budget request for the next fiscal year wasn't met.
Without the funds to reopen the station, Goonan made clear to the board that this is a safety issue for the city of Manchester.
"If you were living in the South End and instead of getting there in four minutes, I (the Fire Department) am getting there in ten minutes," Goonan said. "It is certainly a safety issue."
Alderman Ron Ludwig backed Goonan, touching on how he used to be a department head and knew what it was like to need money.
"Department heads need money to run their departments and manage them effectively," said Ludwig, receiving applause from the listening firemen at the meeting. "They can't manage by the seat of their pants on the fly, he's (Goonan) here telling us, which I applaud him for doing, before we even start (the budget) July 1, that he's gonna be in trouble... Let's put the money in the budget that is necessary and not make these guys fly."
A motion to move $138,000 to the Fire Department's budget was unanimously approved by the board and will help keep Station 9 open.
"This motion is all about not closing a fire station and public safety," Mayor Ted Gatsas said. "The $138,000 keeps that from happening."
The alderman will continue the discussion at a budget meeting on July 18.