Atlantic City May Stop Paying Employees After April 8th
UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.: Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian announced City Hall is shutting down on April 8th at 4:30 p.m. It will remain closed until at least May 2nd, when the city is expected to receive it next quarterly tax payments.
Mayor Don Guardian said in a statement employees would not be paid during this time, but that health benefits would continue to be provided. “We are working to ensure that all essential services will continue to be provided from April 8th through May 2nd to the residents of Atlantic City,” the statement said. “Essential services are identified as Police, Fire, Revenue collections, and some divisions in Public Works.”
Atlantic City’s budget issues are numerous. Now, things may be about to get worse: The city may have to stop paying its employees by April 8th.
Mayor Don Guardian‘s chief of staff, Chris Filiciello, told The Press of Atlantic City the two are in Trenton in an attempt to get a bridge loan that would allow the city to pay its workers until May.
Atlantic City has been dealing with budget issues for the past few years. Its revenue plummeted when four casinos closed in 2014. Then several casinos successfully appealed their property tax bills, leaving the city with another chunk of money to pay out. There was a framework in place for a PILOT program with the remaining eight casinos, but Christie vetoed the bill. He later announced a state takeover — he called it a “partnership” — for Atlantic City.
Guardian told the Press he’s in a bind: The city could remain open if it decided to not pay the school district. But then the schools would have to close. “If we shorted the school, I don’t think they’d have any other choice but to close,” Guardian said. “They have no surplus anymore. So you could force the schools to close to keep the city open, but that’s just playing with our kids.”
It’s not all bad news: The police department said its officers will still report for duty even if they’re not paid. Atlantic City’s credit rating makes it essentially impossible to get loans from banks; it’s not known whether it will be able to get a bridge loan from the state.
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