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Abramson Proposes Firefighter Settlement To Be Paid With Cash, Bonded Debt

Monday November 2, 2009

Mayor Jerry Abramson has proposed a plan that would use a combination of cash and borrowing to pay the $45 million firefighter settlement for overtime pay.

In an ordinance submitted to the Metro Council today, the mayor proposes making the first of three payments — due Dec. 1 — using $15.8 million in cash. That figure includes $14.3 million directly to firefighters and $1.5 million for plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

The cash payment will come from a reserve account established earlier for this potential liability.

The other two payments — $14.3 million on March 31, 2010 and $14.9 million on July 15, 2010 — would be covered by the city selling bonds.

“This plan ensures the firefighters receive the money due them while also ensuring it’s done in a fiscally responsible way for the taxpayers,” Abramson said.

The Metro Council must approve the plan before the payments are made.

Jane Driskell, director of the city’s Office of Management and Budget, said a separate ordinance for the bonding will be introduced in the near future.