AUBURN — Fire Chief Frank Roma and Fire Department planner Sarah Hulbert lost their jobs Friday in what Roma believes to be the first of several layoffs to reduce city spending.

Roma confirmed Friday that he had been let go, and said Deputy Chiefs Tim Allen and Geoff Lowe would share acting chief duties for the time being.

“The important thing is the community should not see any reduction in service afforded to them, either for EMS or fire,” Roma said.

Roma said he believes the cuts at the Fire Department were the first of several that will be announced in the coming weeks, but he could not confirm any others.

City Manager Howard Kroll could not be reached for comment Friday night, nor could Assistant City Manager Denis D’Auteuil nor Mayor Jonathan LaBonte.

Kroll is scheduled to present his 2016-17 budget to city councilors and the public at 5:30 p.m. Monday, but councilors have known for weeks that a low fund balance would make balancing the budget difficult.

Auburn’s budget policy calls for the city to maintain about 12.5 percent of its annual expenditures in an unassigned fund balance, enough to run the city for about a month and a half. For the 2015 fiscal year, the unassigned balance is $4.97 million. That’s about 6.3 percent of the annual expenditures, and the city would have to bank about $3.5 million to get it built back up.

Roma said the fund balance issue was behind his layoff.

“If you’ve been around Auburn Hall enough, you’ve seen the issues with the fund balance,” Roma said. “Nobody likes to be in a position to look at these kinds of changes, but I respect the thoughtful manner that went into this.”

Roma came to the city in 2012 from McKinney, Texas. He said he plans to stay in Maine for now.

“I love Maine, and I missed her,” Roma said. “Texas was a great place to be from, but Maine is a great place to be. I intend to stay here.”

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