ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City is offering early retirement buyouts to 162 workers as part of its fiscal recovery plan to avoid a takeover by the state of New Jersey.

The Press of Atlantic City reports ( ) Mayor Don Guardian sent a letter Thursday to city workers outlining the offers. Full-time workers with at least 20 years on the job are the only ones who qualify for the program.

Eligible workers have until Oct. 17 to decide whether to accept the offer.

The buyouts are the second part of the city’s fiscal recovery plan. The city announced last week that the Municipal Utilities Authority would buy Bader Field for at least $100 million. The proceeds would go toward paying down the city’s roughly $500 million debt.

Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.),