The City Council on Monday set a hearing to assess the costs of overtime incurred by the Police Department, Fire Department , and other city agencies during and after the riots earlier this year. Sponsored by Council Vice President Edward Reisinger, District 10, the hearings are meant to shed light on the long term budget effects of the increased overtime and workmen’s compensation claims filed as a result of dealing with the unrest.
“Because of the civil unrest that occurred in our city we should be concerned about the impact that it’s going to have not just on next year’s budget but our future budgets. I have questions on the overtime of the police and the fire department and other agencies. The other question I’m concerned about is what is the cost for those counties and subdivisions that supplied us with those resources,” said Reisinger.
“What really concerns me is the workmen’s compensation claims that I’m hearing are coming through the city because the city is self-insured and we don’t know what the cost is. Are they permanent disabilities or temporary disabilities? We have to know what . . . it’s going to cost the city of Baltimore. I’m hearing 150-200 police and firefighters are on permanent disability. What effect will that have on deployment in our streets?”
There will be a hearing on June 9 and representatives for the police and firefighters are expected to answer questions.
In other news, the Council called for a hearing with city agencies and non-profit organizations on ways to steer developers to distressed areas of the city. Introduced by City Council president Bernard C. “Jack” Young, a date for the hearing has yet to be set.
“Neighborhoods down in the Harbor and neighborhoods where development make sense, developers flock to those areas. We want to see if we can get most of the city’s agencies to come up with tools to try to push development to the less desired neighborhoods, said Young. “We did that with the Poppleton in Pete Welch’s district  and we want to see how we can push it further into other districts with some incentives and thinking outside of the box so that we can stretch the investments.”
Young was referring to a recent proposal to steer $58 million to developers for use in the Poppleton neighborhood in West Baltimore.