It's been a busy start to June - so keep up with the latest from the city.
For the first time, City Hall will now be accepting credit/debit cards as a form of payment. This simple update will go a long way towards making the way we do business in the city more efficient. Residents wishing to make tax payments by card, can do so at City Hall or pay online after receiving their tax bill.
FY 2016 Budget Approved
On June 1, the City Council approved the budget I proposed for the coming year. In this budget, we continue to responsibly fund the operations and services of the city, yet introduce several new initiatives that will spur economic development and improve the quality of life for our residents. Here are a few of the highlights from the coming year's fiscal plan:
$1.2 million less spending than the bankruptcy plan
Creation of reserve accounts which will minimize the risk and exposure to the city.
Investing 150% of required pension contributions to chip away at unfunded pension liabilities.
Creating OPEB Trust to fund retiree health care and start to deal with OPEB liabilities.
Investing new Wyatt payments into Road Paving fund to rebuild 30 city streets.
Starting a Broad and Dexter St. small business plan to provide capital for businesses to improve building exteriors.
Developing a Youth Fellowship program to increase youth opportunities.
Focusing on redevelopment of major city initiatives - the train station, the Landing, Osram Sylvania and Coats and Clark - through the revival of the Central Falls Redevelopment Agency.
Continued support for the Nuisance Task Force and its efforts to clean up our city, block by block.
Helping business owners by freezing the tangible tax rate for a second year in a row.
Rolling-out the Open Counter program to accept permits, licenses and payments online and on-demand.
Creating a Community Policing bureau with the addition of 2 new police officers who will walk the beat and build relationships in the community so as to decrease crime.
The entire FY2016 adopted budget can be found on the city's website.
Our Bond Rating
Two weeks ago, I shared with you the great news that Moody's credit rating agency upgraded the city's bond rating to Ba2 from Ba3 and reaffirmed our stable outlook. This represents another positive step in the right direction for Central Falls. While my administration continues to work hard to restore fiscal confidence and long term stability for the city, it it rewarding to achieve milestones like this.
Clean-up for Central Falls Landing
Thanks to our congressional delegation of Sen. Reed, Sen., Whitehouse, Congressman Langevin, and Congressman Cicilline, the city has received a $200,000 EPA grant for environmental clean-up at the C.F. Landing. This funding will pave the way for future redevelopment at the site - a major win for Central Falls.
Warriors Class of 2015
I had the pleasure of attending and sharing greetings from the city at the Central Falls High School graduation last weekend. It's a humbling sight to see the hard work and dedication of our youth pay of in an extraordinary way. CFHS graduate and State Rep. Shelby Maldonado gave an inspiring keynote address that I know resonated with the class of 2015. I wish our graduates nothing but the best and hope they will return to our community one day and build upon the great work we are doing.
Wishing you the Best
For years, Nancy Whit has been a fixture in the community as Executive Director of PCDC. At the end of the month, Nancy is retiring from her role at the organization - bittersweet news to those who have come to know and interact with her over the years. Congratulations Nancy on 14 years of inspiring service in the communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls. While you will be missed, I wish you the best on a well deserved retirement!
* Monday, June 15 - Portuguese Flag Raising at Central Falls City Hall. 1:30 pm - 2 pm. 580 Broad St.
* Wednesday, June 17 - Central Falls Housing Authority Community Landlord Class. 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm, Wilfrid Manor, 466 Hunt Street. Please call (401) 727-9090 to register
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me by calling the Mayor’s Office at (401) 727-7474 or emailing Mayor AT CentralFallsRI DOT us.
Very Truly Yours,
Mayor James Diossa