Updated: 01/30/2014 11:11 PM
Created: 01/30/2014 11:06 PM WDIO.com
By: Darren Danielson
Mayor Don Ness Thursday painted a frightening picture of what the city of Duluth's financial situation would have looked like, had the city not made drastic changes to retiree health care plans.
Flanked by charts and graphs, Ness illustrated the effect of the reforms made over the last few years.
The retiree health care plans put in place over previous decades, Ness said, could not be paid for and the City was moving toward bankruptcy.
"In 2005 the city's unfunded liability was $280-million dollars. However, if the issue was not addressed and if no changes were made, today in 2013 that liability would be $405-million dollars."
But many changes were made and the mayor unveiled the latest numbers Thursday.
"The latest actuarial report that just came out has our unfunded liability at 182-million dollars. That represents a 223-million dollar decline in our projected liability", Ness said.
The mayor says while the city's financial picture is brighter because of the reforms, that $182 million unfunded liability is still a large one.
"Going forward, there are only two ways to deal with it: increase revenue or reduce city services".
Scannell Convicted on Both Counts
A jury has convicted Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The verdict comes after about nine hours of deliberations yesterday evening and today.
Feds Deny Support for Gogebic Co. Freeze Damage
Michigan officials say northern communities, including Gogebic County, dealing with damage caused by last winter's extreme cold aren't eligible for federal support through a presidential disaster declaration.
Spirit Mountain Seeing Big Changes
Just months into a new executive director, Spirit Mountain is seeing some big changes. Daniel Fanning with the mayor's office says three positions are being discontinued, including the director of marketing, director of operations, and director of skier services.
Free Range Film Festival in Wrenshall
Annie Dugan and her husband call it the Free Range Film Festival, and they are hold it in a barn where they've showing independent movies for 11 years. The Dugan's bill the festival as "a farm fresh alternative to stale cinema."
Cider House Opens in Historic Duluth Building
In a city of craft beer, Endion Station is Duluth's first cider house. The group behind Fitger's Brewhouse bought the old train depot, which now sits in Canal Park, two years ago and reopened the piece of history Friday.