Streator considers borrowing and investing to make up for pension shortfall

Streator considers borrowing and investing to make up for pension shortfall

Streator city officials are considering borrowing money and investing it to overcome a pension fund shortfall. The city has $4.4 million in the fund for its fire fighters. But the state says the fund should have more than $16 million.

Borrowing at a rate of about 4.5% percent and investing where returns could be 6.5% or more looks promising. Mayor Jimmie Lansford and other officials are aware that investing has risks, but say making no changes means the city won’t be able to cover fire fighter pensions in 21 more years.

City Council member Joe Scarbeary is cautious but very interested.

Another possible solution would be to reduce the number of future hires who will get pensions—something the fire fighters say they won’t support.