Gulfport extinguishes plans to close a fire station

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport City Councilman Ricky Dombrowski said he was "very excited" about the city's $54 million budget approved on Tuesday.

The council went against the administration on several budgetary issues.  For instance, instead of closing fire station number four as the mayor recommended, council members voted to hire three new firemen and keep the Railroad Street firehouse open.

Gulfport closed station four one other time.  But for safety reasons, it reopened while the city finished building Cowan Road fire station number seven.

The recommendation to close station four a second time sparked outrage in homes closest to the Railroad Street station.  Several neighbors spoke out against plans to mothball the fire station.

Councilman Dombrowski said with a casino opening near Jones Park and with at least three new hotels opening around the city, Gulfport revenues would rebound enough to save the fire station.

City employees won't get a pay raise next year.  However, because health insurance claims are down, Dombrowski said employees would get rebate checks around Christmas.

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