City Council votes to delay closure of Fire Station 6 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City Council votes to delay closure of Fire Station 6

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council decided to delay the closure of Fire Station 6 after dozens of North Memphis residents showed up to protest the closure at Tuesday's meeting.

Last week, the MFD director announced that Fire Station 6 would close due to budget cuts. In addition to the fire station closure, the fire director said the cuts could result in the loss of 92 positions and up to six trucks.

The closure was originally supposed to take effect August 1.

But Tuesday, North Memphis residents' voices were heard and the fire station will stay open. At least, for now.

"If you can't do anything for me when it's not election time, why the hell do I need to vote for you when it is election time," said Dina Williamson, who protested the closure.

"Please don't close that station," pleaded Doris Lewis.

Councilman Harold Collins said the council was never told the budget they approved would mean the closure of Fire Station 6.

"The council had not heard anything officially," he said.

Councilman Shea Flinn said the closure would not leave residents in that area high and dry. Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson said there are three other fire stations that can respond to that area's calls.

The fire and police directors told the council the worst case scenarios of the budget crisis.

"If things do not improve, there are three precincts I am looking at, two in particular: Raines Station and Mount Moriah Station," said MPD Director Toney Armstrong.

"When asked to cut 92 positions, that's our target head count number, that requires that I take five to six trucks off the streets," added MFD Director Alvin Benson.

Then, race came into the equation.

"I don't want to bring race into this, but I have to. It seems to affect those within the African-American community," said Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove.

Citizens say safety comes first.

"If we have to increase out taxes for security and safety, I think it's important," added Lewis.

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