For Immediate Release: October 18, 2006
Statement of Steve Cassidy, UFA President on City Plan to Sell Off Firehouses
With the population of New York growing and expanding exponentially in some neighborhoods, the city must not be selling off vital community firehouses.
Selling these buildings only compounds the original mistake of closing these necessary firehouses in communities that are undergoing both building and population booms.
In Williamsburg and Greenpoint Brooklyn, it is estimated that within the next decade 60,000 new housing units will be created. That represents up to 60,000 new families requiring city services and FDNY protection. In Harlem we also have a building boom where 30-40 story high-rises occupied by hundreds of families have been replacing smaller 3-4 story dwellings. These and other growing communities need greater fire protections, not less.
As the city has celebrated multiple Billion Dollar budget surpluses, there is no financial crunch that necessitates the auctioning of such vital public safety assets.
In this age of terrorism the Fire Department should be expanding its assets, not selling them off.
The city must not be in the business of selling off the security, safety and protection of New Yorkers to the highest bidder. If City Hall is just not willing to reopen these firehouses as we have called for, then at minimum keep these firehouses as an investment in the future of these affected communities.