The state-appointed receiver overseeing Central Falls, R.I., asked retired police officers and firefighters on Tuesday for $2.5 million in permanent pension and health-benefit concessions for the city to avoid bankruptcy.
Some could see their pensions cut in half.
“They were not happy with the news I delivered, but I thought the meeting went well, considering,” Robert Flanders, a retired Rhode Island Supreme Court justice who Gov. Lincoln Chafee appointed in January, said in a phone interview after a meeting at Central Falls High School. “Everybody listened respectfully.”
Flanders asked for pensioner input within seven days.
Flanders, the third receiver since the state stepped in, recently wrote the retirees asking for $1.75 million in pension cuts and a further $725,000 in benefits concessions. The city, which only takes up one square mile north of Providence, faces $80 million in unfunded pension and benefits obligations and $25 million in deficits over the next five years.
Central Falls has closed its library and community center.
The state last month passed a bill to put a lien on so-called ad valorem revenue for bondholders. Moody’s Investors Service, meanwhile, cut its credit rating to Caa1 from B3.