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Dallas Police-Fire Pension Problems May Push Back 2017 Bond

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DALLAS (CBS11) - Dallas' mayor says a proposed 2017 $1 billion bond, that could address the city's deteriorating street problem, might need to be pushed back to 2018.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said before the city takes on more debt, it must first address another billion-dollar issue, the police and fire pension fund.

Due to risky investments that went bad, Rawlings said the police and fire pension fund is nearly $1 billion in the hole and could go broke in next 15 years.

This would leave firefighters and police officers without any retirement.

The poor investment decisions were not made by the city but by the pension board that controls the fund.

However, Rawlings said the city can't afford to ignore the problem.

"It's not the city's responsibility. We believe the citizens have done their part," Rawlings said. "The problem is the police and firemen who are here for their long-term retirement, if it's not there, they may go to another city. We have to have great police and fire. We have to deal with this issue."

Rawlings said the city needs to find other ways to fund the much needed street repairs other than the bond.

The mayor and council members are meeting this week at a planned retreat where they will discuss many of the city's financial challenges.

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