The city, which had a projected deficit of $12.5 million in its 2010-11 budget as of last July, is now on track to finish the fiscal year in the black and possibly have a surplus to return to its reserve fund, Mayor Pedro Segarra said Wednesday.
"As we are trending we will have a zero deficit," Segarra said. "Otherwise we would have to go back to the fund balance like the previous administration."
Segarra said the city has reduced the budget gap through savings that include $3.5 million from layoffs and attrition, $1.4 million from an early retirement program, $300,000 from a citywide spending freeze, $200,000 in debt restructuring and $125,000 in rebidding initiatives.
Segarra said the city took in an additional $1 million in taxes, $600,000 in rent and $250,000 in property and billboard sales.
The mayor said that, judging by current trends, the city should close the deficit by the end of the year, and that it might increase the city's fund balance by 10 percent, or about $1.7 million.
The fund balance is currently $17 million, or 3 percent of the city's revenues. Segarra said he hoped to be able to increase that number to 7 percent eventually. That figure is important to maintain the city's bond rating.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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