Bay County officials are set to lay-off four county fire department employees, including three battalion chiefs.
Even with an increase in fire services taxes for unincorporated Bay County, and a loan, the fire department will come up about $300,000 dollars short next year. Decreasing property values are to blame. County officials are cutting 11 year veteran Chad Harrell, who was earning about $64,000 a year, 9 year veteran Daniel Lentz at $59,000 a year, and 14 year veteran Al Ford who made more than $74,000 a year.
The cuts will not affect the new $2.8 million dollar west end fire station, which is scheduled to open next month.
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