Engine 220 will remain open, afterall.
After locals Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to close 11th Street’s Engine 220, along with 19 other firehouses citywide, on Friday evening Bloomberg announced that this year, the firehouses will escape the chopping block.
The final version of Bloomberg’s $65.72 billion budget for 2012 will allow the fire houses to remain open, as well as spare the thousands of teachers who were facing layoffs under Bloomberg’s initial budget proposal released in May.
Hundreds of Slope residents fired off complaints to Bloomberg after news broke that he planned to shutter Engine 220, which is one of just two firehouses serving the Slope. At two rallies held last month in front of the firehouse, hundreds of locals gathered with politicians and Boardwalk Empire actor Steve Buscemi to protest the proposal.
According to City Council statistics, if the 11th Street station had been closed, the first arrival time would jump from 3:38 to 4:08 seconds (a 19 percent increase), and the second arrival would go from 4:08 to 5:24 (a 30 percent increase).
This is the third consecutive year that the City Council has helped rescue fire companies from being shut down under Bloomberg’s budget ax.
"Like many New Yorkers, I am very pleased that the city’s final budget agreement includes no fire company closures, and that Park Slope’s bravest, at Engine 220 on 11th Street, will continue to keep our families safe," said Councilmember Brad Lander, who was among the politicians who fought hard to keep the firehouse open. "Thanks to everyone who came out to the rallies and signed petitions in support of our firehouses, and a fairer approach to balancing the city’s budget. It really did make a difference.
The final budget does make several tough cuts—including loosing some teachers through attrition and cutting some city jobs.
“Make no mistake about it. This is not a good news budget,” Bloomberg said on Friday night.
City Council is expected to vote on the budget on Tuesday. A vote must take place before the fiscal year begins anew on July 1.