Grand Island council drops new hires approved in August

The Grand Island city council Tuesday reversed a decision to hire six new employees for the fire department. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) A plan approved last month by the Grand Island city council to hire seven new employees fell apart Tuesday night.

At the Tuesday night meeting the Grand Island city council voted to increase the city's property tax to pay for 7.75 new FTE's (Full Time Employees.) However, Mayor Roger Steele vetoed the increase and the council was unable to override the veto.

Steele said last month's decision to make the new hires, which included three new firefighters and three new EMT's, violated a long-standing city council policy requiring ongoing stable revenues to pay for new expenses. Steele said he vetoed the property tax increase because the council failed to find the new revenue source.

Later in the meeting, the council removed the new FTE's from the budget.

The new hires could be added back to the budget if the council can find a new revenue source. Steele appointed a city council committee for that purpose.

Tuesday's action is likely to be controversial in the community. The Grand Island Firefighter's Union issued a tweet Wednesday morning noting the council's decision.

The special revenue committee is scheduled to meet soon to work on the issue.

Read the original version of this article at www.ksnblocal4.com.