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NEW CASTLE Council considers early-retirement plan

By Laure Cioffi

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The parking authority wants to take out a $1 million loan.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City employees wanting to retire early may leave with a little extra money.
City council is considering an early-retirement plan that would give employees who are 50 and older with at least 12 years of service an extra $300 in their pension if they retire early.
John DiMuccio, city business administrator, said there are about 17 people who qualify. He expects maybe seven or eight to take advantage of the early-out program if council approves it Tuesday.
Council met for a special Sunday night caucus to discuss the early-retirement plan meant to encourage people to retire early.
DiMuccio said this is an attempt to save money. He said the plan will only work if those who retire are not replaced.
"Some do need to be replaced, but most jobs can be integrated by other employees," he said. "Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be saved over the next few years."
Those retiring early will not receive a full pension, he said. A person must be 60 years old with 20 years of service to receive a full city pension.
Parking authority
In other business, the city parking authority is asking council to guarantee a $1 million tax-free loan.
Parking Authority Director Ted Saad said the money will be used to pay off $750,000 in debt and make repairs to the city parking garage on Mercer Street.
Plans call for repairs to the northeast stairwell that is now closed, renovations to the elevator and work on the garage deck.
Saad said the money is coming from Sky Bank at an interest rate of 4.63 percent. He said the debt being paid off currently has an interest rate of about 6 percent.