New London preparing for deeper state funding cuts

(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — When cities and towns passed their budgets this year, they did so hoping for the best from the state. Right now, it doesn’t look like that’s happening.

“The situation seems to be getting bleaker, not better,” said New London Mayor (D) Michael Passero.

He says back in the spring, the city put together an $80 million budget estimating a loss in state revenue of 8 percent. Vacant positions were eliminated and taxes were raised 9.3 percent which angered residents so the budget was repealed.

new london budget 4 New London preparing for deeper state funding cuts
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

Now, a new budget needs to be set and state funding is expect to drop even more.

Related Content: Still another snag in budget stalemate

The mayor is asking city councilors to cut another $1.6 million on the city side and $2.5 million in funding to the school department which may make up for that loss with substitute revenue from the state. The city though is already looking to cut positions in the department of public works and finance department.

“When we’re done it will have a director and deputy director,” said Mayor Passero. “Essentially, we’re wiping out our finance department which is very difficult for a city this size.”

Any additional cuts would require negotiations with the city unions. In any case, the first quarter state funding expected Sept. 30 may come to the schools, but not the city as long as there’s no state budget.

new london budget 1 New London preparing for deeper state funding cuts
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“Beginning on Oct. 1, we have to start watching when the cash will run out without the state revenues because it represents one third of our revenues,” explained Mayor Passero.

Related Content: State rep asks to withhold pay during state budget stalemate

City councilors are under a time constraint in getting a new budget approved. That’s because the city is operating under last year’s budget.

It can only spend 25 percent of last year’s budget before last year’s budget becomes this year’s budget and the city does not want that. So, it is hoping to have a new budget in place by the middle of next month.

new london sign New London preparing for deeper state funding cuts
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)




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