(CBS Connecticut) — Hartford today announced that it hired a law firm to help city officials review their options as they consider whether to file for bankruptcy.

The city says Greenberg Traurig will provide the services of one of the leaders of its restructuring practice.

“As we start a new fiscal year without a State budget and with significant uncertainty, we will have the advice and counsel of an experienced and highly respected restructuring firm,” Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement that did not use the word bankruptcy.

Bronin has said the city will soon have to deal with a decision made by the previous mayor, to restructure debt, creating a large increase in debt payments in the near future.

When the city approved its budget, it assumed the state would contribute an extra $40-million to help balance the city’s budget.  The state is facing its own deficit of $5-billion dollars over two years, and state lawmakers have been unable to reach agreement on their own budget.

“Over the past eighteen months, we have made significant cuts and we continue to pursue aggressive changes in our labor contracts,” Bronin said.

Savings promised under a union contract last year failed to fully materialize.  Union response to calls for more givebacks this year have been mixed.


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