Fire District 'Fiscal Emergency'

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, February 4 2013 at 3:45 PM, Updated: Mon, February 4 2013 at 4:10 PM

Klamath County Fire District #1 is very close to running out of money.

At a meeting on Saturday, the district board declared a 'fiscal emergency' for Klamath County Fire District #1.

"We're not out of money yet."  Cautioned Fire Chief Jim Wenzel.  "But we project that we will run out in May or June."

Wenzel adds that the district will need to cut spending by over 300 thousand dollars between now, and the end of June...

"We're looking at some cuts to training, and travel expenses - and we're also looking at possibly covering the battalion chiefs with regular 40 hour chiefs, to help save the money on overtime."

Administrators will also be expected to take some furlough days.

Chief Wenzel says no personnel cuts are expected at this time...

"But we'll be working to see if we do need to cut daily staffing or not."

Wenzel notes that the pending deficit, and potential solutions were identified in a recent audit.

"We'll still be in a position where we will extinguish all fires, and as far as patient transport, we'll make sure that everyone gets to the hospital in a timely fashion."


About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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