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Kalamazoo Commission takes baby step in addressing legacy issue


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Kalamazoo City Commissioners have given the City Manager a green light to begin planning for a 100-million dollar municipal bond sale.

Money from the sale will be reinvested, and the profits will partially offset a 188-million dollar deficit in their retiree healthcare plan.

It’s the same kind of legacy cost that has bankrupted Detroit, but on a much smaller scale.

City Manager Jim Ritsema is working against a December 31st deadline, when the law permitting such bond sales expires.

The Legislation has bills pending that would extend that deadline another year, but they can’t count on lawmakers passing it.

Commissioners also accepted two Justice Department grants to help pay to replace worn out Tasers and bullet-proof vests for their officers.