Retiring firefighters and police officers with a large number of earned sick and vacation days will force the city to borrow $1.6 million before June 30th, 2014.
“This is the type of thing that’s killing us,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, during Tuesday’s council meeting. The city does not have the money within its budget to cover payments to these officers, forcing it to bond or go into debt to pay its obligations.
Police officers retiring by this summer will cost the city $487,538.00; firefighters retiring by this summer will cost the city $1,139,142.62, according to city documents. To bond the $1,626,680.62 will result in an added expense of $23,319 for the city.
Bulk of the money will go to nine retiring firefighters. Bruce Vander Voort, deputy chief, will cash in his sick and vacation days for $133,946; Michael Delmoro, a captain at the city’s fire department, will cash out $93, 758; Richard Hoffman, Sr., captain, $92, 969; Antonio Maldonado, captain, $92,969.
Five others, whose rank are merely stated as firefighters, are set to retire as well earning little over $60,000 each for their sick and vacation days. Raymond Alex, $66,534; Paul Difalco, 66,534; Richard Gurlacz, $66,534; Tindaro Merlo, $66,534; Thomas Straube, $66,534.
Morris read out the list of names commenting, “I find this rather curious each received the exact same payout.” Morris questioned whether the numbers were even accurate as did William McKoy, the 3rd Ward councilman, who wanted to see the contracts of these individuals to verify the numbers.
Eight police officers set to retire in June will be splitting the rest or 30-percent of the bonded money. Richard Macchiarelli, captain, will cash out $120,507; Joseph Adamo, lieutenant, $97,084; patrolmen: Francis Belton, $80,310; Manny Avila, $70,918; Michael Ventrella, $70,918; Gary Destefano, $20,907; Jason Wester, $16,289; Kevin Neggia, $10,605.
Over a five year period the city will pay $141,900 in accelerating interest rates that will start at 2.5-percent and climb to 3.5-percent in the fifth year, according to projection.
“These payouts, we don’t have the sufficient revenue in the general budget, so this is going to have to be bonded over five years,” said Morris. “Our children are going to end up paying it.”