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An Extra Million Dollars Would Be Handy, if We Had it

“If the City had $1 million in extra tax money what would you like to see be done with it?” That is the question asked in The New Britain City Journal Facebook group this month and the answers were varied.

Each month the City Journal asks Facebook members a question. Although the $1 million is fictional, residents were passionate about their responses. Here are a few.

Mike Fitzpatrick said fixing the roads would be nice

“More help for the homeless and struggling in New Britain,” said Michelle Duplin.

Tony Cane said where the money should go would be a toss up between fixing the infrastructure and paying down debt.

Alderman Daniel Salerno would like to invest the funds in economic development marketing worldwide.

“Create something that is city owned that will generate more money,” said Khalid F. Tawfik.

Mark Zenobi suggested half of it go to the rainy day fund, and the rest on road repairs, and a homeless shelter.

“Street lights, crack house busts, street clean ups,” said Naddie Marie.

Marc Romanow wants the City to pay down debt or put the money in the rainy day fund.

“More security in our children’s schools, and more things for our youth to do to stay out of trouble, perhaps free daycare for young moms to be able to go back to school, more homeless shelters,” said Ashley Marie.

Donna Dabkowski Potvin said the money should be invested in our youth

“Give the homeless a place to live,” said Maggie Sullivan.

“Fixing the roads would be nice,” said Alicia Dziob. “Aside from the obvious, I’d like to a fully functional food co-op.”

“How about gardens?” questioned Susan Hernandez. “More sports teams especially for those families that can’t even afford the uniforms or fees.”

Victoria Renee said put it into the schools.

“Give it back to the ones who paid the taxes,” said Jodi Rybczynski.

Mayor Erin Stewart said Wednesday that if the City had a fictional extra $1 million dollars it would be used to pay off the City deficit of about $5 million.

“Because of last year’s budget we are still carrying over some of that budget,” said Stewart. “It would go towards paying down that deficit.”

But Stewart said if the City had the $1 million and she could spend it any way she wanted to, she would have to look at what $1 million can really do.

“I look at it as $1 million would not even give me a dent in demolishing Aquinas,” said Stewart. “It would not allow me to make property acquisitions.”

She said realistically she would put it towards the City’s homeless plan.

“We used to receive $80,000 a year for an emergency shelter,” said Stewart. “I would secure a couple of years of shelter funding.”

The rest would be split between the business assistance program and the first time home buyers program.

“You see a lot of people taking advantage of those opportunities that the City is fortunately able to provide,” said Stewart. “If we could increase monies that could be given out on an annual basis, that would be great.”