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Kalamazoo's Legacy Task Force completes its work


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) --Kalamazoo has a 188-million dollar problem, funding healthcare for city retirees and the city’s Legacy Task Force has been meeting since spring to come up with a recommendation to cover the liability without cutting into funding used for other city services.

They are proposing that negotiations continue with retirees to lower costs and they will fund the rest by conributing to an OPEB Trust Fund.  

Vice-mayor Dave Anderson, who sat on the task force says the City Commission will use the recommendations as a starting point for their own discussion.  He says whatever solution they find will take the next 20 to 30 years to complete.

Task force member Rob Keller thinks the bonding proposal is too risky, but admits he is no expert on such financial dealings.  He urged commissioners to get a professional opinion on just how risky the OPEB bonding can be. Keller's recommendation, which was co-written with another task force member,  was included in the final report to the commission as a dissenting opinion, approved by a majority of the task force.