By Peter Henderson
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Bernardino, California, which is planning to file for bankruptcy, would suspend payments on pension obligation bonds and other debt under a three-month proposal to be submitted to the city council on Tuesday.
A package of materials on the city council's website included the plan for July-September of this year.
City staff recommend deferring $3.6 million in debt and lease payments, including on pension bonds and infrastructure bank loans.
"The Council is being asked to authorize City staff to defer payment on the City's debt coming due between July 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012, administratively 'freeze' non-essential vacant positions, curtail spending organization-wide, suspend all equipment purchases, and defer any new Capital Improvement Program projects," the materials said.
The city of about 210,000 people located 65 miles east of Los Angeles would become the third city in California to seek protection from its creditors since late June, after Stockton and Mammoth Lakes, and the speed with which its situation has deteriorated has shocked residents and observers.
In a few weeks the city has declared a fiscal emergency and begun preparing for a bankruptcy filing, revealing a $45.8 million shortfall for the budget year that began this month.
(Reporting by Peter Henderson and Jim Christie; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)
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