Bloomberg Relents, Releases List Of Fire Houses Facing Ax
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Bloomberg has apparently caved-in to threats of legal action by the City Council. On Wednesday, the mayor released the list of the 20 fire companies that could be closed.
The list of fire companies on death row include Engine 161 on Staten Island, Engine 4 at the South Street Seaport, Ladder 53 on City Island and Engine 26 on West 37th street, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
The mayor, who is not known for giving in to political pressure, blinked. He gave up trying to keep the draft list of doomed fire companies secret.
“We’re sending over a bunch of lists,” Bloomberg said.
“The people in the communities throughout the city, those 20 council districts deserve to know where those fire companies are,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said on Monday.
The threat of a lawsuit from Council Speaker Christine Quinn apparently forced the mayor’s hand. He wanted to prevent the list from getting out to lessen public outrage. The list has a lot of information.
“You rank fire houses and companies based on how much they get used, what kind of response time and then you have to see at the end what kind of financial realities there are,” Bloomberg said.
Others on the draft list of potential closures include:
* Engines 46 and 60 in the Bronx
* Engine 157 on Staten Island
* Engines 205, 206, 218, 220, 233, 284 and Ladders 104 and 161 in Brooklyn
* Engines 294, 306, 328 and Ladder 138 in Queens
* Ladder 8 in Manhattan
The mayor insisted the number of companies that get the ax will depend on budget negotiations with the City Council.
“I have not looked and approved any list whatsoever,” Bloomberg said.
Sources told Kramer that they believe that that the Council will be able to save some fire companies through negotiations and that, ultimately, maybe five to eight will close.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn — with 8 firehouses on the list — seemingly has taken the hardest blow.
Al Jones of 1010 WINS spoke with people in Williamsburg upset that Ladder 104 could potentially be axed.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones With Concerned Residents
“It’s what makes you feel safe because if you have any other kind of emergency, someone could always knock in there and they’ll come,” Merta Mendez told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
Borough President Marty Markowitz was also not pleased with the news.
“We cannot put the lives of our residents in Brooklyn or anywhere else in this city in jeopardy — period,” he told 1010 WINS.
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