Peoria city manager says pension issues put strain on city budget

By WEEK Producer

Peoria city manager says pension issues put strain on city budget

June 19, 2013 Updated Jun 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria City Manager says continued pension problems at the state level are putting a major strain on the city's budget.

On Wednesday, Patrick Urich told members of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and City Council that he is projecting a deficit of $3.1 million in 2014.

Urich says most of those costs will be driven by wages and pensions. He said it is a trickle down effect from the problems within the General Assembly in Springfield.

"The whole system for covering pensions from how the funds are set up to who makes up that pension board to how we have to pay into it, is all set up by the General Assembly,” said Urich. “This is the General Assembly’s system that they have set up. It's been developed by them and we have to follow the law."

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says the stress from pension hits could result in cities all across the state going bankrupt.

The first item Urich plans to address for Peoria is how to reduce health care expenses. He says he plans to have a balanced budget to present to the city council by September 1.

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