PAWTUCKET—Calling it more of his “building a bridge to progress” campaign theme, Mayor Donald Grebien has come up with a proposed $112.3 million city operating budget for fiscal year 2015 that provides additional revenue in some key areas while promising a zero tax increase.
The spending plan is about $1.6 million higher than the current fiscal year's budget of $110.7 million, reflecting an increase of 1.47 percent. The proposal involved no property tax increase for home or business owners and no increase in taxes for tangibles or motor vehicles.
The budget proposal will be introduced from the floor at Wednesday's City Council meeting and referred to the Finance Committee for review. A public hearing on the budget will be held at a date to be announced.
Among the major initiatives of the budget plan is the addition of a third rescue in the Pawtucket Fire Department. Director of Administration Tony Pires said the third rescue will be made possible primarily from the changeover to part-time civilian dispatchers in the Fire Department. This move is expected to cut down on overtime by an estimated $200,000 while freeing up two uniformed firefighters who handle the dispatch duties now on a rotating shift basis.
Pires said that besides being “a good business decision,” adding a third rescue will enhance the city's fire and rescue services and will likely mean a quicker response time.
Pires said the budget also includes a provision to make the first-year payments on a $1.75 million allocation from the state's Municipal Road and Bridge Revolving Loan Fund to address nearly $30 million in much needed repairs to local roads.
--Read more of this story in Tuesday's newspaper.