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Monterey Park Browns-Out Fire Engine as a Budgetary Measure

The City of Monterey Park browned-out one of its three fire engines to balance its budget. Station 61, located next-door to city hall, temporarily and immediately lost its fire engine but will continue to operate its ambulance and ladder truck equipment.

The cut will provide for $67,000 in monthly savings after a reduction of fire personnel overtime pay that currently costs the city $1.2 million annually.

Fire Chief Jim Birrell implemented an operational plan involving cooperation from neighboring agencies to better deal with the impact of the cut in the community.

City administrators, meanwhile, continue negotiations with the firefighters association on a contract that would ask association members to pay for their employee shares of pension costs. The city currently pays for 25 percent of the employee share contribution and 9 percent of the CalPERS pensions. The current contract expired June 30 and so far only 7 employees have agreed to pay for their PERS pensions.