PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council members are ever-so-close to finally releasing their own study of the cost of the controversial pension perk known as “DROP” — and close to finally scheduling a hearing on whether to abolish the program.

The Council’s DROP report is now scheduled for release next Tuesday.

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City Council president Anna Verna confirms that the study of DROP commissioned by Council puts the cost of the program at about $10 million a year, far less than the mayor’s estimate of about $28 million a year.

But the Council report, Verna says, is still not ready for public consumption.

“We’re hoping to make that available as soon as our consultant signs the report,” Verna told KYW Newsradio on Thursday.

Mayor Nutter says even at $10 million a year, DROP is too expensive and should be abolished.  Council will have to choose between doing that, or tweaking the program to try to make it cost-neutral.

No hearing is yet scheduled, and it is unclear if one will be held before the May primary.

“I think Council members would prefer seeing it listed (a hearing scheduled) as soon as possible,” Verna said.  “I don’t want anyone to think that we are dragging our feet.  Because we’re not.”

Six current councilmembers are enrolled in DROP, and three — Verna, Frank DiCicco, and Frank Rizzo — are seeking re-election.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau chief Mike Dunn.

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