CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - City leaders have five hearings planned in the next week for the public to view and comment on next year's nearly $900 million budget.
First responders like the Corpus Christi Fire Department want taxpayers to realize they need more money just to maintain the status quo.
"Over the last 10 years it has not increased in personnel. We still maintain our 414 staff," CCFD Chief Robert Rocha said. "We have 18 fire stations coming on board with 22 primary pieces of apparatus with 11 ambulances."
Rocha said like other City departments, as they have added ambulances and one new fire station, they have had to streach people and resources to make sure they are manned.
"What the department really needs to concentrate on is adequately staffing all of our fire stations with personnel, but meeting the demand the city has in terms of the growth that the city has had in population and construction," Rocha said.
Rocha said he hopes to come up with a long-term plan to recruit more firefighters and paramedics and be able to pay for them.
"City council recognizes that public safety is an issue that needs to be addressed very soon," Rocha said.
Eddie Holihan, Director of Management and Budget, said this year's budget is $6 million higher than last year's, mainly due to increased property valuations.
The city is holding a series of public hearings next week on the budget which you can be a part of through an interactive page on the City's website and a live Facebook event next week. For more information, click here.
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