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Cincinnati Council Wants $17 Million For Fire Department

Cincinnati Council wants to spend $17 million to fund two projects for the city's fire department.  

City administrators will have to find the funding in the capital budget. That could come from restructuring the city's current capital debt.
Council wants to use $10 million to build a new training center.  

Fire union president Matt Alter told a council committee the department must use three different locations for its training.

"On any given day we're looking at between an hour-and-a-half and two hours of lost productivity simply because we have to drive to three different facilities," Alter said. "Not to mention the fact that our training facility was built 90 years ago."

The current training facility was built in 1929. Officials said it lacks modern-day fire technologies and equipment that are now standard across the country.

The proposed new training center could also be used by other departments in the region.  

The remaining $7 million would be used to add women's bathrooms and locker rooms to the many Cincinnati fire stations that currently do not have them.  

Council Member Kevin Flynn said in a motion "this is an egregious failure."

"This isn't a job where you get dirty and you get to go home," Flynn said. "You get dirty, you're going home, your home is the firehouse, and if there's no place for you to shower, that's not a very fair opportunity."

The Budget and Finance Committee approved the funding Monday and the full council will consider it Wednesday.