Diossa introduces fiscally responsible budget that promotes economic growth
CENTRAL FALLS, RI – In his 2016 budget address, delivered before a capacity crowd in the City Council Chambers on Wednesday, Mayor James Diossa shared his vision and goals for FY 2015-2016. In attendance were the Central Falls City Council, City Judges, Department Directors, community members and special guests; Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien, and Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray. During the approximately 20 minute address, Diossa highlighted the work the city has done to improve services and conditions in the community and introduced initiatives that would grow the city’s economy.
“We, the people of Central Falls, have demonstrated resilience in bouncing back from an unprecedented challenge,” said Mayor Diossa.”This budget stands on the shoulders of the hard work we have completed over the last two years and offers the city further stability and sustainability in the coming years.”
For the first time, Diossa’s address was live-streamed over the internet as part of his administration’s goal of increasing the openness and transparency of city government. The 2016 proposed budget costs $1.2 million less than the state’s approved bankruptcy plan FY 16 projection.
“This is a fiscally responsible budget that rebuilds our city streets and make them cleaner and safer, spur economic development, improves the openness and transparency of government, modernizes city services, invests in our youth, and invests in our local businesses,” said Diossa. “I am excited for the positive changes that this budget will deliver for Central Falls.”
“While this budget represents a continued step forward for the city, we are still faced with the burden of $3.2 million in bankruptcy legal fees,” said Diossa. “We are forced to budget $600,000 in FY 2016 to cover these burdensome costs. Unfortunately, I’ve included the necessary evil of a tax increase to cover the hit to the city’s finances that these fees represent.”
After Wednesday’s address, the City Council will conduct workshops and public hearings before passing the FY 2016 Budget.
Key 2016 Proposed Budget Points:
- $1.2 million less than the state’s approved bankruptcy plan FY 16 projection
- Creation of emergency and claims reserve accounts which will minimize the risk and exposure of the city.
- Funding 150% of pension ARC payment.
- Participation in OPEB Trust through partnership with RI Interlocal Trust.
- Budgeted $600,000 cost of bankruptcy legal fees.
- Road repaving projects, covering over 30 city streets.
- Funding a Main Street façade program, which provides capital for businesses to improve building exteriors.
- Funding a Youth Fellowship program, targeting opportunities for city students.
- Revival of the Central Falls Redevelopment Agency.
- Continued funding of Nuisance Task Force.
- Freezing the FY 2016 tangible tax rate.
- Online permitting and payment process in the City Clerk’s Office.
- Funding for 2 new police officers.
Document: Link to FY 2016 proposed budget