Minneapolis lays off 10 firefighters

by John Hageman

The city of Minneapolis laid off 10 firefighters Tuesday in the wake of state aid cuts from the Legislature, according to the Star Tribune. 

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak warned last week that the could have been as high as 50, but he and City Council President Barbara Johnson are hoping to avoid more layoffs by taking $1.75 million from the city’s reserves, according to the Strib. 

In a previous interview with the Daily, firefighters union President Mark Lakosky questioned the city’s funding priorities, noting that the number of firefighters staffed have dwindled in recent years. He warned that fewer firefighters could lead to longer response times. 

The State’s budget included a $23.5 million less in Local Government Aid than the city had budgeted for in December. As a result, the city cut its paving programs in half and $2.8 from the police and fire departments on top of city-wide cuts to all offices.