State budget woes lead to spending freeze in East Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State budget woes lead to spending freeze in East Haven

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East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo. (WFSB file) East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo. (WFSB file)

The state's lack of a budget has caused the town of East Haven to implement a spending freeze.

Mayor Joe Maturo released a department memorandum on Monday to institute a "purchasing and overtime freeze."

"We've effectively utilized spending freezes in the past to keep expenditures under control in prior budgets," Maturo said in a statement. "However, we have never had to impose a freeze this early in the fiscal year. We're handcuffed right now because of the ongoing state budget crisis and the stalemate in passing a budget for the current year. As a result, we're being prudent; limiting our spending, and bracing ourselves for potentially severely budget cuts."

Maturo said the freeze was in light of the fact that the state budget may not be passed until the fall.

Grant funding to municipalities, including East Haven, was suspended in late June.

Maturo said that amounted to a loss of $26,000 in aid to his town.

Now, non-emergency purchase orders and overtime now needs to be authorized by the mayor's office.

"Over the last six years, we restored our rainy day fund from just $200,000 dollars to a healthy $4.9 million dollars," Maturo said. "We are required to maintain that $4.9 million in funding by rating agencies like Standard and Poor's, in order to maintain our excellent A+ credit rating. I am disappointed that the state's budget crisis may force us to consider dipping into that rainy day fund to close future funding gaps, especially if those gaps are substantial."

Maturo, however, said he remained confident that his team is prepared to do whatever is necessary to balance East Haven's budget.

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