8 firehouses still under ax

The slew of new taxes and fees New Yorkers will pay under Albany's budget deal will not rescue the eight city fire companies slated to close by May 23, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said yesterday.

The deal will block the closure of up to 40 more firehouses - a worst-case scenario under the mayor's "doomsday" plan.

The targeted companies - five in Brooklyn, two in Queens and one in Manhattan - were initially pegged for closure in November as part of an earlier budget-trimming effort. That plan was shelved after an uproar.

They wound up back on the chopping block last month after a commission appointed by the mayor voted 5 to 2 to proceed with the closings to help plug a $3.8 billion budget gap.

"To the best of our ability and our analysis, we think it will not impact on public safety," Scoppetta said, adding, "Nobody is able to predict the future."

Frank Lombardi

Originally published on May 6, 2003