The city’s budget committee has agreed to allocate more than $6 million from its $292-million year-end surplus towards benefits for retiring police officers.

Toronto police officers with 35 years of service are entitled to nine months of pay if they’ve saved up that many sick days over the course of their career.

However, the fund that pays out that benefit is running out of money.

Coun. Michael Thompson, who is the vice-chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, said the payout is the result of a negotiated contract and the city was obligated to make that money available.

"Clearly, we would like to see something different. These resources can be utilized for other needs," Thompson said.

Mike McCormack, the head of the Toronto Police Association, said the benefit to retiring police officers is justified.

"Our officers are more prone to different diseases, all kinds of issues that come up in the course of their career and it’s very important that we have a sick bank," McCormack told CBC News.

Also Monday, the budget committee turned down appeals to spend surplus money on youth outreach workers, as well as requests for funds to keep the High Park and Centre Island zoos open.

With a report from the CBC's Jamie Strashin