City | 2:33 pm | May 30, 2012 | By Nick Defiesta

Aldermen pass $486.4 million budget

Aldermen on the finance committee continued the Board's process of hammering out a final budget for the city's next fiscal year.
Aldermen on the finance committee continued the Board's process of hammering out a final budget for the city's next fiscal year. Photo by Nick Defiesta.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved New Haven’s $486.4 million budget in a 40-minute special meeting Tuesday night.

The budget — the product of almost three months of public hearings and negotiations between Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s administration and the labor-backed majority on the Board — was largely unchanged from DeStefano’s original proposal in March. Under the new city budget, the mill rate will decrease from 43.9 to 38.88, which officials said will reduce taxes for 70 percent of city residents.

“This is a responsible budget that advance our core priorities as a city while lowering taxes for the majority of New Haven residents,” DeStefano said in a statement after the vote. “This budget respects the financial challenges New Haven taxpayers continue to face, while at the same time advancing the four core missions of this City and my Administration.”

Aldermen maintained parts of the budget supported by DeStefano, including an increase in the number of police officers to 467, the elimination of 119 Board of Education positions, the construction and renovation at Helene Grant School and the New Haven Academy. But not everything stayed: a new police communications position, sought after by New Haven Police Department Chief Dean Esserman, a property revaluation in 2014 and parking fees at Lighthouse Point Park were all cut from the budget. In addition, aldermen tacked on a schools study championed by Ward 5 Alderman and Board President Jorge Perez.

The budget will take effect July 1.

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