Special Weather STATEMENT in effect for:
PD, FD overtime issue prompts citywide spending freeze in NewburghPosted: Updated:
Fighting between Newburgh’s fire and police departments against City Hall has prompted a citywide spending freeze.
Acting Fire Chief Terry Ahlers says he is frustrated by the spending freeze, which is being blamed on hundreds of thousands in overtime costs coming from his department and the police department next door.
Ahlers and Newburgh's Police Benevolent Association say both departments are short-staffed and operating on skeleton crews, which leads to more overtime.
Both suggest hiring more staff and promoting from within to minimize costs, but say for some reason those suggestions are falling on deaf ears.
Newburgh spent $2.5 million on overtime last year.
The city had hoped to cut that number by $700,000 this year but is already falling short of that goal.
Newly appointed Mayor Torrance Harvey said by phone that the city has mismanaged this issue for years, and that addressing it on several fronts is his top priority.
News 12 reached out to Newburgh's city manager and comptroller Monday for comment but so far calls have not been returned.