The city will spend $1.25 million to hire more inspectors, more public works employees, a lawyer and two interns to address blighted buildings and related issues.
The city council on Monday unanimously approved the allocation, which was proposed by Mayor Pedro Segarra earlier this month.
Segarra said he wanted to hire more staff after learning the city would receive an additional $3 million under the new state budget.
The new hires will include three additional inspectors to address blight and at least eight more public works employees.
Segarra has suggested using another $1.5 million to lower the city's tax rate from 72.29 mills to 71.79 mills. A mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
The city had adopted a $545.9 million budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that had already lowered the tax rate by half a mill. The new adjustment would make the total decrease equal 1 mill.
The city council must approve the tax rate decrease before it takes effect.
Segarra has said he was guided by residents' concerns over high taxes and a shortage of workers in the public works department. He said he based his proposals on discussions with residents and from a series of town meetings.
Also on Monday, the city council approved an ordinance that increases the appropriation for the Neighborhood Development Fund from $2 million to $4 million. Money from the fund is used for infrastructure improvements and the demolition of blighted buildings.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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