ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst has cut three firefighter positions, and he blames the layoffs on his city’s poor financial condition.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports that the cuts come as the city continues to negotiate a contract with Alton Fire Fighters Local 1255.

Battalion Chief Rob Franke is president of Local 1255. He says the union’s bargaining board is discussing options with its attorney but hasn’t filed a grievance over the layoffs.

The loss of the three positions drops the number of firefighters in Alton to 48. That’s the lowest in years. In January 2003, for example, Alton had 69 firefighters. And in 2009, the city had 57 firefighters on staff.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


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