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E. St. Louis rejects firefighter layoffs

By Rachel Lippmann

East St. Louis, Ill – Officials in East St. Louis have rejected plans to close a budget gap by laying off firefighters.

The city must close a $2.9 million deficit by December 31. A plan from Mayor Alvin Parks would have laid off 11 firefighters and closed a firehouse. But the city's Financial Advisory Authority rejected that suggestion.

Parks said his administration is back to the drawing board on the fiscal year 2009 budget. He said the city has a few options, including other layoffs, borrowing from city TIF funds, or some other source of cash.