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City looks at early retirement to help budget

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In February, New Hanover County offered some employees the option of taking early retirement. Now, the city of Wilmington is following suit. The city is facing $6.5 million shortfall. About 100 city employees are being offered early retirement to make up for it. The incentive includes five months salary paid up front to eligible employees. Depending on how many take the deal, it could save the city about one million dollars. The retirement incentive is just one strategy the city said would help balance the budget for 2009-2010 year. A city spokesperson said this affects police and fire personnel, waste management workers, and the parks and maintenance department. The plan may help avoid future layoffs. “It's really a struggle but we think this is an option that will help us from having to cut positions from the budget and provide and attractive option for those who might be thinking about retiring,” said spokesperson Malissa Talbert. City employees were notified yesterday. They have until May 15th to decide whether to take the incentives, and the retirements would be effective July 1. The city has to adopt its final budget in June.

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