Central Falls, Rhode Island Teeters Towards Bankruptcy04:37
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A mother and son try to return books to the library which is closed indefinitely in Central Falls, R.I. (AP)
A mother and son try to return books to the library which is closed indefinitely in Central Falls, R.I. (AP)

The city of Central Falls, Rhode Island has already closed the public library and a community center in an effort to stave off bankruptcy and close a nearly $5 million budget gap this year.

The city's pension fund is also drying up, and this week the state receiver, who was given control of the city amid financial distress last year, will ask police and firefighters to voluntarily give up their pensions, in what is being called the "big ask."

Stephen Beale, news editor for Golocalprov.com, told Here & Now's Monica Brady Myerov that the receiver, Retired state Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Flanders Jr.,  is not likely to gain many concessions in the "big ask."

"The balance is tipping towards bankruptcy...  He doesn't have a lot of political experience in negotiating these kinds of things.  I don't think there's an expectation of tremendous success."

If Central Falls, Rhode Island does go bankrupt, Beale says that others may soon follow, having a devastating impact on the state. "From a business perspective," he said, "if you have a state where cities are going bankrupt, maybe it's not a good place to move in with your business."

Guests:

This segment aired on July 18, 2011.

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