VALLEJO (KCBS) – A federal judge has approved Vallejo’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy and will soon formally sign off on the proposal, city officials said Friday.

All of the creditors agreed on the exit strategy to bring Vallejo out of Chapter 9, said Rob Stout, the retired finance director who remained in a consultant role to help oversee the bankruptcy proceedings.

“They had all voted for the plan, and so it was an easy decision for the judge,” Stout said.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Since the city filed for Chapter 9 in 2008, a shuttered fire house is about to reopen. The Vallejo Police Department started hiring again this year, after shedding one-third of its officers when the city was struggling to remain solvent.

Vallejo made history as the first California city to declare bankruptcy. Several others followed, but Vallejo then earned the dubious distinction of being the only California city still under a bankruptcy court’s protection.

Stout said the city’s slow return put it on firm financial footing at a time when many Bay Area cities continue to struggle with deficits.

“So many cities around us, that as part of this year’s budget are closing fire stations or laying off police officers, and we’re not,” he said.

The president and CEO of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, Anita Hawkes, said the city’s improved finances had made the process of getting permits much easier.

Hawkes said the chamber was working with the city to attract new businesses and create jobs.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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