City Finance Director Ken Flatto Monday night blew a Valentine’s Day smooch to the City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee citing a $9.1 million budget surplus for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021.
“I’m not a person of hyperbole, or someone who overstates things … what I am letting you know tonight in my personal opinion is a pretty big deal … city of Bridgeport finances are solid and stable,” he told council members in a virtual presentation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report with audit representatives Nikoleta McTigue and Santo Carta of accounting firm CLA.
Why the surplus?
Flatto cited several items including leaner expenses during covid, bills that slowed down for miscellaneous costs, money from feds to cover unexpected expenses, tax collections higher by roughly $11 million and growth of taxable property.
Flatto contrasted city finances from 2015 when he says the Ganim administration inherited a $20 million deficit.
“Metrics have dramatically changed,” said Flatto including the financial picture of the Board of Education historically underfunded, according to school advocates. The local school district has received an infusion of federal funds from the impact of the health emergency.
City Councilman Matt McCarthy, an accountant by profession, raised a question about school spending moving forward, a nod to other council members whose constituents have pressed them for more education dollars in recent years.
McCarthy set up the question as the budget committee prepares to deliberate spending for the new fiscal year that begins July 1 after Mayor Joe Ganim presents his budget plan in April.
This is one of those things enjoy it while it lasts: more money from the feds, state budget coffers exploding with extra dough that benefits city finances.
From the audit: