East St. Louis city manager says payless paydays are a 'distinct possibility' in January | St. Louis Public Radio

East St. Louis city manager says payless paydays are a 'distinct possibility' in January

Nov 21, 2015

East St. Louis officials are looking to the state and the banks to avoid having to ask city employees to work without pay in January.

At a news conference convened by the mayor Friday evening, City Manager Alvin Parks said “there is a distinct possibility” of payless paydays after Dec. 30.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure our employees get paid on a timely basis as completely as possible,” Parks said, including “looking for new sources of cash, looking for a couple unconventional sources of cash (and) also looking to get our money from the state of Illinois.”

According to Parks, the state owes East St. Louis more than $2 million in gaming revenue because Illinois hasn’t passed on the funds since the state began operating without a budget in July.

“If we were to have that money come to the general fund, that would help us a great deal. But if for some reason we don’t get that, we have to prepare for a worst case scenario,” Parks said.

Parks said East St. Louis may also pursue at short-term loan to make payroll and pay some of the millions it owes in police and firefighter pensions.

City Treasurer Charlotte Moore said Friday she has found two banks who are willing to give the city a loan, but not until an audit of the city’s 2013 finances are complete.

“As of today we have enough money to cover the payrolls until the end of the year. Hopefully the governor will pass the budget so we can get our close to $2.1 million that will cover us January and February until the audit’s complete and we can go with additional loans.”

Parks said he is in talks with other banks that may be willing to help without the audit. East St. Louis is currently $5 million in debt; a slight decline from previous estimates.

Follow Camille Phillips on Twitter: @cmpcamille.