The embattled city of Ferguson in the frontier province of Missouri has refused to issue its consent to a "consent decree" sought by the United States Department of "Justice" which would end the troubled city as a going concern (archived). Since civil unrest struck Ferguson the small city north of St Louis has suffered financially with Moody's dropping Ferguson's credit rating seven steps, from a respectable Aa3 to Ba1 "junk" status all in one fell swoop this past September. The city with 21,000 residents and a roughly 12 million United States dollar annual budget if it consented to the decree would have been forced to, among other things, raise its level of "law enforcement" officer pay to the to 25th percentile for the region. The payroll bump alone is projected to generate approximately a million dollars worth of expenses for the city on its own. Other costs would include monitoring fees paid to the Department of "Justice" and an inevitable stand off with the firefighter's union over their salaries if a pay raise for police officers goes through. Ferguson's city government has resigned itself to Federal monitoring and other onerous provisions of the agreement, but they are taking a stand on the financial aspect as the numbers involved could lead to no outcome other than the dissolution of the city.