Puerto Rico town suspends services amid economic crisis

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) " A town in northern Puerto Rico has closed city hall and put nearly all of its employees on involuntary vacation because officials say they don't have money to pay salaries.

Toa Baja Mayor Jorge Ortiz says the island's struggling Government Development Bank owes the city more than $1 million, though the bank disputes that.

The city also had its accounts recently frozen by the IRS because of a $1.5 million debt.

Essential employees such as police officers are still working in the city of roughly 88,000 people, but most city workers are idled. A group of employees protested Monday's closure and demanded back wages.

The closure comes as Puerto Rico seeks to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt the governor has said is unpayable.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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