Cities, towns already bracing for state budget pinch - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Cities, towns already bracing for state budget pinch

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)
EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Cities and towns across the state are feeling the pinch of last week's state budget bill.

The Town of East Hartford announced a budget freeze for fiscal year 2017.

Mayor Marcia Leclerc said it's the result of the state budget, which stripped the town of $1.5 million in municipal aid.

“The State of Connecticut has closed a nearly $1 billion [fiscal year 2017] budget deficit with significant budget reductions, employee layoffs in the thousands, and deep cuts to municipal aid," Leclerc said. “As a result, the state reduced aid to East Hartford by $1.5 million compared to the level that was expected when the Town Council set the budget on March 8, 2016. I am asking town directors to take the necessary steps to stop all non-emergency spending for the entire fiscal year.”

Leclerc said she asked all department directors to reduce discretionary spending, including non-essential training and travel. She also asked to reduce repairs to town vehicles except for those in emergency services.

Restrictions will be placed on overtime and spending. All non-essential hiring will be halted, including for any unfilled positions.

The mayor also advised the Board of Education to expect no addition town contribution for fiscal year 2018.

Leclerc asked that all restrictions currently being made be sustainable over upcoming budget years.

In New Haven, Mayor Toni Harp said the plan is to absorb the state budget changes with no mill rate increase on real estate and personal property.

Harp held a news conference Tuesday morning to propose other changes to the Elm City's budget.

The state House of Representatives and Senate passed the state's $20 million budget bill last week. The budget aimed to close a $960 million shortfall.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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