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Council Sends Mayor Zero Increase Budget

After looking at the budget, the Democratic Majority Council Friday night agreed to send a zero percent increase budget back to the mayor for approval. It would keep the mill rate at 36.63.

Through sales of property, the council added back $1 million to the police department budget in order to keep funds of $2 million from a federal appropriation for officers.

“By us adding back a tad over $1 million we will get $3 million return on our investment,” said Michael Trueworthy, mayor pro-tempore.

Also added back was dial-a-ride.

“There is still work to be done. This doesn’t fix everything,” said Trueworthy. “There is still approximately $ 8 million that needs to be reallocated….There is an additional $1.2 million that is still slated to come into the City from the state of Connecticut.”

Mayor Timothy Stewart could make changes, approve the budget or veto it, before sending it back to the council for another vote.

Democrats Trueworthy and Eva Magnuszewski, majority leader, sent a letter to the mayor on what they would like to see done.

“This budget season has no doubt come to be one of the most difficult that I can remember. The City of New Britain’s revenue projections had been in doubt with several “Plan B” scenarios at the State level,” said the letter. “Also, your memo as of last week providing the Council with very little details as to your proposed 10 percent reductions, with the details of said proposal coming as recently as two days ago has not allowed for the appropriate level of deliberations. All of which, of course, is underscored by the fact that resources are incredibly scarce this year.”

The Democratic led council would like to see Stewart address several situations and programs that it finds unacceptable.

The letter said that, “The Council respectfully ask that you engage in this process immediately with the respective collective bargaining units in order to avoid layoffs.”

The letter also asked the mayor to restore funding to proposed trash fees or the increasing of existing fees, elimination of public safety services, elimination of the youth services bureau, allowing for the appropriate level of aid to education and splash parks and pools.

“In short, the Council vote tonight on budget modifications, some of which are included above, allows enough time for any veto by you to properly work its way through the legislative process,” said the letter.

The final mill rate will be set on June 7.

“We remain committed to working with you and your office, in a bipartisan fashion, to make the best of a bad situation and come together for the betterment of the Citizens of New Britain,” said the letter.

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