Council To Debate Firefighters Payments Next Month

by Gabe Bullard on January 19, 2010

The Louisville Metro Council’s Budget Committee will soon meet to decide how to finance the final two payments in last year’s settlement with underpaid firefighters.

The city still owes the firefighters some thirty million dollars plus additional costs, to be paid out in two installments this year.The council can either pay the money out of cash reserves and risk lowering the city’s credit rating, or it can bond the payments and take on additional debt.

The next payment to firefighters isn’t due until the end of March, and on February 2nd, the mayor’s office will present the ramifications of each payment option to the council panel. Budget committee vice chair Kelly Downard says that gives the council plenty of time to make a decision.

“Normally what the administration does is provide us information at the last minute, at the last meeting before something has to be done and tell us it’s an emergency and we can’t stop it,” He says.

Downard says he’s interested in finding out what the additional costs in the settlement are. He says they likely deal with payroll taxes and could add millions of dollars to each payment.

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