Petersburg looks to reduce workforce through retirement plan

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Petersburg is moving forward with plans to reduce its workforce. The city is now offering retirement incentive packages to eligible employees.

Nearly a hundred city employees are eligible to take part in the buyout program, Including 26 employees at the fire department, 15 with the department of social services and 9 employees with the police department.

"It's our desire to give opportunities to people that are close to retirement or thinking about retirement or separating from government service a monetary incentive," said Petersburg mayor, Brian Moore.

Eligible employees will receive $500 for each year they've been employed with the city, up to $15,000.

The mayor says the program will also allow the city to enhance the pay of other city workers. Some residents say they're concerned the buyout will negatively impact city services.

" We need the people to pick our trash, handle the book work, taxes, I don't agree with it," said Charmin Truly.

"We definitely need the police, and I think we need more than what we have right now," said resident, Alice McKay.

The mayor says service won't be impacted.

"The council's priority is also the citizen's priority, making sure our community is safe, and we won't do anything that will hamper or hinder that," he added.

Eligible employees have until the end of the year to accept or reject the city's offer.

The mayor says if a significant number of eligible employees are not interested in the retirement offer, the city will look at other alternatives.

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