Louisville Metro Government will issue the first of three payments to hundreds of firefighters Tuesday. The $15.8 million check goes toward the $45 million settlement with the firefighters over miscalculated overtime.
“It breaks down, $14.3 million to the actual firefighters and $1.5 million in attorney’s fees,” says Mayor’s spokesperson Chris Poynter. “It’ll be up to the firefighters’ attorneys to handle distribution to the actual firefighters.”
The firefighters’ attorneys will take their fees out of the payment, then take out taxes and other deductions before sending money to individual firefighters. Union President Craig Willman says it will take several days for the first checks to arrive at firefighters’ homes.
The remaining two payments will be made next year, but the mayor’s administration and some Metro Council members are at odds over how to fund the settlement. The council members want to tap the city’s 65 million dollar rainy day fund, while Poynter says the administration would rather sell bonds for the project.
“The rainy day fund is…it’s our savings account,” he says. “It’s very important, especially in these tough economic times, to have that savings account there in case we need it. We’d rather not tap the rainy day fund, some council members want to, and we’re in discussions with them now.”
The council’s budget committee will review both options and make a decision next year.