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13 new firefighters among asks being looked at during Lethbridge budget deliberations

Lethbridge Fire Chief Greg Adair has asked city council for 13 new firefighters. Lethbridge Fire Chief Greg Adair has asked city council for 13 new firefighters.
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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -

Lethbridge’s fire department could add new 13 firefighters to its ranks.

Fire Chief Greg Adair made the request Wednesday to city council, who are acting as the economic standing policy committee for budget deliberations.

Adair says at least 13 members are needed over the next four years.

Adair wants to add four firefighters next year, four the year after that and five more in 2025, with a total cost of just over $6 million.

Coun. John Middleton-Hope believes the addition would improve response times for both paramedics and firefighters as the city continues to grow.

Council unanimously approved the motion.

Council also voted unanimously to add two full-time airfield maintenance specialists, to ensure the airport is fully staffed and meets Transport Canada’s requirements.

Council then moved to the event support program, looking to allocate nearly $1 million spread over four years to the major community event and community event support grants.

Council voted in favour, six to three, with councillors Ryan Parker and Nick Paladino as well as Mayor Blaine Hyggen being opposed.

The committee also approving the hiring of 10 non-permanent full-time staff to the city's parks department as a way to meet existing service levels.

That comes with a price tag of more than $2.5 million spread over four years.

Once budget deliberations wrap up later this week, council will then formally vote to approve the budget, likely during their Nov. 29 meeting.

If all budget initiatives that have been approved as of Wednesday make it through, taxes could rise to 4.23 per cent.

The Lethbridge Police Service and Commission budget will be on the agenda for Thursday. 

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