"We are not out of the woods yet, but we are able to start going forward," said board president Fred Gralinski Monday night at the annual meeting of the
The board announced it had made its last large payment that day:
The district's troubles came to light in 2012, when it was taken under state receivership, in part because of a
Giving a report Monday night, district manager
For example, a claim of about
Asked to clarify how the district was able to settle this and other debt payments, Corrigan said Tuesday, "Negotiation, negotiation, negotiation."
Budget surpluses in 2014, 2015, and 2016 went to pay debt, she said at the meeting Monday. The board still owes about
Looking ahead, the
"We're just spending a lot less," Corrigan said, in part because the district is out of bankruptcy.
Legal costs have plummeted from just under
General liability and property insurance dropped from about
"We're not in a bankruptcy anymore, and... because we aren't, we are able to shop that insurance a lot more aggressively," she said.
District residents also voted for board members at the meeting.
At the meeting, some of the voters thanked board members for their work, but tensions were also on display. People cut off board members at times, shouting from the audience. When a resident stood at the podium to clarify an issue, Gralinski said, "Can't hurt my feelings; I don't have any left."
Gralinski and other board members, along with voters, also thanked firefighters who continued to work despite the struggles.
Reached Tuesday, the president of the local firefighter union,
The board and union are now working toward a labor contract, Gralinski and Preston said.
On Twitter: @CarolKozma
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