Aldermen approve FY 2020 budget

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MANCHESTER, NH – In her tax-cap budget presented this spring, Mayor Craig allocated an additional $4.3 million to the Manchester School District, the most funding allocated to the district in 14 years. Tonight, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen adopted the city’s $353 million FY2020 budget, which included an additional $2.2 million to the Manchester School District for a total of $6.6 million. The FY2020 Aldermen’s Budget was approved with a with a veto-proof 10-4 vote.

After the passage of the budget, Mayor Joyce Craig released the following statement:

“When I presented my budget back in March, I said it was a starting point.  Over the last few months, Alderman O’Neil, along with many Aldermen, have worked on alternate budgets that built upon what I presented.

This is not an easy process.  I want to thank the Aldermen for working hard on coming up with a budget that best addresses the needs of our city.

No budget is perfect, but what is most important is that we found common ground.

When I presented my budget this spring, I allocated a $4.3 million dollar increase to the Manchester School District, the largest increase in funding to our schools in 14 years.

The budget passed tonight increases funding to schools even further, with an additional $2,276,045 being appropriated. I’m hopeful that this increase will help get us toward a timely resolution to contracts with our teachers and other educators.

Our educators deserve a fair contract and I’m committed, along with many of my colleagues, to finding a resolution as soon as possible.
I look forward to working with this board, the school board, department heads and our employees to use the funds allocated in this budget to make our city, our school district and our community stronger.”

The key vote sending more money to schools was 10-4. In favor were aldermen Kevin Cavanaugh, Will Stewart, Tim Baines, Chris Herbert, Tony Sapienza, Bill Shea, Barbara Shaw, Bill Barry, Normand Gamache, and O’Neil. Opposed were Keith Hirschmann, Elizabeth Moreau, John Cataldo and Joe Kelly Levasseur.

FY20 Alderman’s Budget Highlights:

*   Provides the largest increase in funding to schools since 2006, total of $6,605,073

*    Provides funding for potential agreements with employees with outstanding contracts, subject to negotiations (schools and police)

*   Incorporates new position at Health Department for Substance Misuse/Mental Health Coordinator
*   Includes city’s match of $30,000 for new Homelessness Services Coordinator in Health Department
*   Includes funding for all existing collective bargaining contracts and salary agreements
*   Funds the FY20 Road Plan at $4.5 million, which will result in 50 miles of streets receiving upgrades or treatments over the next year
*   Provides $2.8 million for homelessness prevention and affordable housing
*   Invests $550,000 in improving city sidewalks
*   Invests $1,650,000 in improving city parks
*   Provides funding for body cameras for all police officers
*   Provides $500,000 to stormwater infrastructure projects to address flooding issues in city
*   Includes $3.5 million to fund Mechanical Equipment Replacement program
*   Fully funds rehabilitation of Queen City Bridge, which will bring in $7.6 million in state funds
*   Fully funds Summer Reading Program
*   Funds professional development for City staff
*   Includes funding for Southern NH Planning Commission
*   Includes $5,000 in funding for Arts Commission
*   Includes funding to staff fire ladder truck on West Side
*   Fully funds 2 new customer service reps in Tax Collector’s office to reduce wait times
*   Fully funds new DV Prosecutor and Juvenile Prosecutor positions
*   Adds funding for 2 new positions in Assessor’s Office
*   Includes increase in non-property tax revenue of $3,801,665, primarily due to increase in motor vehicle registrations
*   Funds building upgrades in Tax Collector’s office, Planning & Community Development Department, Assessor’s office, Human Resources, and Solicitor’s Office