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MAYOR SEGARRA AND COUNCIL PRESIDENT WOODEN ANNOUNCE BUDGET AGREEMENT

(May 28, 2015) Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, City Council President Shawn T. Wooden and the Hartford City Council today announced that they have agreed to a $533.8 million budget for Fiscal Year 2016 that includes no mill rate increase, no reduction in essential city services and no reduction in education funding. Mayor Segarra and the Council worked collaboratively to close a more than $40 million budget gap and to continue to fund top priorities in public safety, economic development and infrastructure improvements to streets and sidewalks. 

“We have worked hard to produce a fiscally prudent budget that doesn’t burden taxpayers and protects community safety, public education, job growth, economic development and quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Segarra. “This budget reflects what we feel are responsible answers to tough decisions that impact the day-to-day lives of residents, including our most vulnerable residents, while protecting our future.”

Council President Wooden said, “Every year we have a really hard budget to produce and extremely difficult choices to make. The Council has been steadfast in avoiding a mill rate increase while maintaining the quality of services to the community. I’m proud that we’ve achieved these goals while incorporating important Council priorities in this budget.”

The FY2016 budget, which takes effect on July 1, funds several important initiatives, including:

  • ·$250,000 for the North Hartford Promise Zone, a federal designation to help create jobs, increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, reduce violent crime and improve health outcomes.
  • ·$150,000 for My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative by President Barack Obama that calls for community members, local government leaders, businesses and charities to help steer young minority males toward colleges, universities and long-term careers.
  • ·$90,000 for a citywide youth athletics program to be administered jointly by the City and Hartford Public Schools.
  • ·$9 million over 5 years in the Capital Improvement Budget for police body cameras, stun guns, patrol car cameras and street surveillance cameras.

To help balance the budget for FY2016, the City will restructure certain existing debt obligations, use a portion of its health benefits fund balance, and reduce departmental expenses by over $10 million. A portion of the City’s health benefits fund balance will be used to fund $19.3 million of the Board of Education’s Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) future liability. The adoption of a balanced budget is the most significant annual policy action for any level of government.

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