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Mayor Segarra Lays Out Budget Planning Dates for Fiscal Year 2014-2015

(March 7) Today, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced a schedule of dates for the planning and adoption of a city budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

“The budgeting process is one of the best ways for citizens to see their City in action,” said Mayor Segarra. “I encourage all residents to attend and participate in these events.”

The list of upcoming budget events and dates is presented below:

Monday, March 10, 5pm, City Hall
Mayor reports on FY 2013-2014, lays out goals for 2014-2015 in State of the City address

Saturday, March 15
Mayor begins to review departmental budget requests with department heads

Wednesday, March 19, 6pm, City Hall (tentative)
COW Informational Session
Presentations
· Budget Summary
· Priorities
· Revenues and Expenses

Saturday, March 22, 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Hartford Public Library, CCC
People’s Budget Hands-On Session
Purpose: for participants to identify budget priorities, prepare a balanced City Budget, and present their recommendations to Mayor and Council members

Wednesday, March 26, 6pm, City Hall
COW Information Session
Presentations
· Debt Service
· Capital Fund
· Pension Fund
· Library
· Hartford Parking Authority

Saturday, March 29
Mayor completes review of departmental budget requests.

Friday, April 18
Mayor finalizes departmental funding recommendations.

Monday, April 21
Mayor submits the Mayor’s Recommended Budget to the City Council through the Town & City Clerk

Wednesday, April 30, 6pm
City Council’s Public Budget Hearing, Bulkeley High School

Friday, May 16th
City Council begins budget deliberations

Saturday, May 31st
City Council adopts FY 2014-2015 budget

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For Immediate Release: March 7, 2014
Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. 860-757-9731
c. 860-539-5485
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Standard & Poor's Upgrades City of Hartford’s Bond Rating by Two Notches and ‘Stable Outlook’ Continues

(March 6, 2014) –Today, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) upgraded the City of Hartford's rating on its general obligation (GO) bonds by two notches from “A” to “AA-“ based on its local GO criteria released in September of 2013. Several factors drove the upgrade including the City’s improving reserve levels, its commitment to fully fund the City’s annual required contribution to the pension plan, its debt position and the City’s steady budgetary performance. Standard & Poor’s also raised the rating on the City’s bond anticipation notes (BANs) by one notch, from “SP-1” to “SP-1+”. These upgrades allow the City of Hartford to borrow money in the future at lower interest rates helping to reduce taxes.

“Since my time on City Council as Chair of the Operations, Management and Budget Committee, I have been worried about the City’s bond rating,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “And that’s why it was critical to resolve our deficit and hold the line on spending so we do not place further burden on our taxpayers. The bottom line is that we need to encourage investment in our City if we are going to improve our infrastructure, our schools and grow our grand list. This was a collaborative effort, across many city departments, and city employees should share in this good news with our citizens and taxpayers.”

S&P emphasized that the City’s strong financial management and stable budgetary performance were the reason for elevating the City’s rating. Other considerations included Hartford’s broad and diverse economy and position as the state capital. “The stable outlook on the long-term rating reflects our view of the city’s adequate budget performance and flexibility due, in part, to its strong financial practices,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Hillary Sutton.

“I am very pleased to see the City of Hartford receive an upgrade from S&P” said Hartford City Treasurer Adam M. Cloud. Treasurer Cloud went on to say, “As the co-issuer of the City’s debt along with the Mayor, I am proud of this accomplishment. This upgrade is a testament to the efforts of everyone at the City of Hartford to maintain strong financial management practices. However, we should not rest on our laurels, instead we should be even more focused on creating stronger policies, tighter budgeting processes and smarter revenue enhancement strategies that will benefit the taxpayers and residents of this great city”.

Webster Bank, the City of Hartford’s Financial Advisor added, “Standard & Poor’s double notch upgrade of Hartford’s bond rating to AA- is a reflection of the City’s strong management practices, budgetary flexibility and strong financial policies. The rating upgrade reflects a higher degree of confidence in the City and will lower borrowing costs for all future bond issues - saving the City millions of dollars for important capital projects while mitigating the impact on taxpayers.”

Mayor Segarra will kick off the 2014/15 budget season next Monday, March 10 during his State of the City address. The Mayor’s recommended budget will be submitted to the Court of Common Council on April 21.

**Download full Standard and Poor's report: http://www.hartford.gov/images/S&P_Rating_Report_March_2014_-_Upgrade_to_AA-.pdf

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For Immediate Release: March 6, 2014
Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. 860-539-5485
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mayor Segarra Statement on President Obama’s Announcement of My Brother’s Keeper

“I applaud the President’s leadership, both as an elected official and personally as man of color who benefitted from the type of programs he is promoting. Nearly 1 in 4 Hartford residents aged 16-24 are high school dropouts, more than 90% of them are Latino or Black, and 53% of them are male. As the President said, we’ve begun to assume statistics like these are an inevitable part of American life, instead of the outrages they are.”

“Hartford has initiatives like our Summer Youth Employment Program, but we need to do more. The ability of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force to assess and promote the programs most effective in combating these numbers is the sort of ambitious solution that we as a City could never carry out alone. Because young men of color are an important part of our future workforce, these steps aren’t just the right thing to do—they’re an economic necessity.”

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For Immediate Release: February 27, 2013
Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. (860) 757-9731
c. (860) 539-5485
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Latest iConnect Store Opens in Hartford

(February 26, 2014) – On Thursday, February 27th, at 100 Trumbull St, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra will take part in a grand opening ceremony for Naturally Dogs & Cats, the latest Downtown storefront to open as part of the City's iConnect program.

Naturally Dogs & Cats sells all-natural, US-made, locally sourced pet food and products, and offers an automatic re-order program with delivery to downtown apartments or curbside pick-up. They will also host nutrition and care seminars, weekly social events, and adoption programs through the City of Hartford Animal Shelter and local rescue groups.

"The iConnect program is an example of what Hartford will be like in the future," said Mayor Segarra. "Business owners are very excited to be opening shops in Hartford. This is positive step in bringing more foot traffic to the streets, improving Hartford's economy and encouraging the success of startup entrepreneurs."
iConnect is partially funded through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Office of the Arts for the purpose of converting empty storefronts into mixed use spaces. This program has brought over 3,000 visitors to downtown Hartford for retail and pop up storefront activities.

"The iConnect Program offers great opportunities to entrepreneurs like us who are trying to open their first store," said Bob Marshall, co-owner of Naturally Dogs & Cats. "We are excited to serve the community of pet owners from Hartford and beyond."
"Trumbull on the Park is pleased to be able to provide retail space to spark economic development in the City while providing Hartford residents and visitors with a much needed service," said Maria Lamari, Property Manager.

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WHO: Mayor Pedro E. Segarra
WHAT: Naturally Dogs & Cats ribbon-cutting and grand opening
WHERE: 100 Trumbull St, next to Salute
WHEN: Thursday, February 27th, 3:30pm to 8:00pm, (ribbon-cutting at 3:30pm)


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For Immediate Release: February 26, 2014
Contact: Kristina Newman-Scott
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
p. 860-757-9016

HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM