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October 22, 2014, 2:59 am
970 WMAY News

City Council Hears About Pensions, Acts on Hy-Vee TIF and Civil Union Benefits


More Springfield aldermen are raising concerns that the city isn’t acting fast enough to address its own growing pension problem.

 

Frank Edwards and Tim Griffin are now echoing complaints from Alderman Joe McMenamin that Springfield should be devoting more money to paying down the unfunded liability for police and firefighters.

 

City officials say they are planning to devote a million dollars more toward pensions this year… and may apply additional dollars from an anticipated budget surplus in the coming year.

 

The unfunded liability for police and fire now exceeds $200 million.

 

Meanwhile, the Springfield City Council has approved the use of $3.5 million in TIF district funds to support construction of a new Hy-Vee supermarket and convenience store on MacArthur.

 

The grocery store complex is seen as a critical step in the revitalization of the MacArthur corridor.

 

In other news, aldermen also approved a health care plan for city employees, one that for the first time includes a provision to provide benefits to the civil union partners of city workers.

 

A gay rights group says the city probably avoided a lawsuit by adopting those provisions, more than a year after civil unions became law in Illinois.

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