Mayor Joe Ganim on Monday signed the City Council-approved $557.4 million spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1 with no tax increase. Ganim signed the budget surrounded by city officials. See video above.
“Due to prior year reductions in state funding, my administration knew it would be challenging to balance this FY2019 budget,” said Ganim in a prepared statement. “Public safety along with education and enrichment continue to be my priorities for our residents and wouldn’t be compromised. Through rigorous actions taken by the city council following their budget hearings and additional savings in operating costs developed by our administration we were able to fund the Library and Board of Education with an additional $2.7 million, all while holding the line on property taxes. Through the efforts of my administrative team and the council this budget finances the services and resources our residents and students need for improved quality of life.”
City Council President, Aidee Nieves added, “The Budget & Appropriation Committee, with the support of many council members that attended multiple budget hearings worked diligently throughout the budget process to produce a budget that was able to close the 6.7-Million-dollar gap, and provide $1 Million to the Board of Education without the risk of cutting constituent services.”
Still, education advocates contend the mayor and City Council have not done enough to support school spending.
Budget highlights, according to finance officials.
— Holds the line on property tax mil rate
— Fully funds public safety essentials with a new recruit class to join the police department after academy training
— Provides municipal appropriation increase to Board of Education budget of $1Million
— Achieves $5Million per year in savings from refinancing debt
— State proposed increase to Board of Education budget of $2-3Million
— Including alliance funds to support evacuee students from Puerto Rico
— Mayoral commitment to save $2.3Million per year in attrition and cost savings
— Funds to upgrade and modernize technology and communications that will increase public safety systems
— Eliminates over $2Million in non-essential budget lines as analyzed by City Council and City Administration