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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15, 2019
EAST ST. LOUIS STATE TEMPORARILY CLOSES FIRE HOUSE
[EAST ST. LOUIS, ILLINOIS, October 15, 2019] ---- The City of East St. Louis has made the difficult decision to temporarily close one of its fire houses which will result in the layoff of 9 firefighters. This is a direct result of the City’s state revenues being intercepted by the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office and redirected to the public safety pensions.
“This is a very difficult decision that had to be made in order to sustain City operations for the next few months. Unfortunately, with 100% of the City’s state revenues being redirected to the police and fire pensions, we are faced with the difficult task of strategically reducing some services in order to continue to meet our financial obligations for the next few months,” stated City Manager Brooke Smith. “In addition to the temporary closure of the fire house, the City has placed a freeze on hiring and may be faced with making additional cuts in other departments in the near future.”
On Thursday, September 26, 2019, the City of East St. Louis received its first Notice of Deductions from the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office, signaling the beginning of its state revenues being intercepted and redirected to the public safety pensions to satisfy a combined debt of approximately $3.9 million.
Engine House No. 425 located at 1700 Central Avenue will temporarily close on November 1st. The City’s other two fire houses will remain open and operate as normal. While the intercept remains in place, the City may continue to reduce services in order to operate. The City will continue to update the public on any changes that will take place.
Brooke A. Smith, East St. Louis City Manager 618.641.7502, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Eastern, III, East St. Louis Mayor 618.570.0943, email@example.com