Norwich City Council plugs $217k budget gap in fire department overtime

NORWICH The City of Norwich Common Council authorized end of year budget transfers at its meeting Tuesday night, including $217,749.97 to account for overtime for fire department personnel.

Norwich Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo said the overtime accumulated as the department was down three firefighters/EMS personnel after three retired in 2017.

"The number makes me sick to my stomach, but we have to have four guys on duty, and when you're three guys short, guys are working a lot of overtime," said Chawgo.

City of Norwich Mayor Christine Carnrike said that while transfers at the end of the year are standard practice, fire department overtime in 2017 was "staggering."

"There were circumstances contributing to the excessive overtime expense and it was in part higher than normal due to the city council deciding to not fill vacancies initially and to offset added overtime expense with the personal services line for positions funded but not filled," said Carnrike.

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