Councilman Carl DeMaio has proposed speeding up the repayment of the Centre City Development Corp.’s debt, which I wrote about yesterday.

DeMaio said he wanted the agency to start repaying its estimated $116 million debt starting in the 2009-10 financial year to free up money for infrastructure projects. CCDC has proposed paying back the money starting in the 2013-14 budget year and freezing the interest, but the City Council has the final say over much of CCDC’s business.

Most of the repaid money must be spent in ways that comply with the guidelines for federal Community Development Block Grants, which fund projects for low-income residents.

The proposal was part of a budget-cutting plan DeMaio released today that dealt mostly with cutting salaries and benefits for city employees in an attempt to save upwards of $40 million. DeMaio has proposed freezing salaries, implementing unpaid furloughs and reducing “excessive fringe benefits packages.”

Specifically, DeMaio wants to cut the city’s contributions to a supplemental retirement savings program created when the city opted out of Social Security, but which DeMaio says is no longer required under the law. He also wants to reduce allowances for health care benefits, shrink the number of health care plans and cut the payment to employees who opt out of the city’s health care.

DeMaio also proposes changing a program in which the city pays a portion of employees’ required retirement contributions. He notes that a recent settlement with the Municipal Employees Association may preclude altering that benefit, which he said would necessitate further salary and staff reductions.

You can see DeMaio’s proposal here.


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