Council Approves Record City Budget

Haverhill city councilors approved Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s approximately $160 million, 2015 budget. It was unanimously approved last night.

The budget adds three new police officers in addition to the five hired in last year’s budget. The budget funds local schools at the highest level ever for the city of Haverhill and provides $1.2 million more than the minimum required for public education.

The budget adds to reserves—which the Mayor called critical to future financial stability—and provides the city with the highest amount of reserves in many years.

In all other areas, the budget held the line on spending. There is no increase in water or wastewater rates. For only the second time in 13 years, the city is not taxing to the maximum allowed by Proposition 2 and half, the mayor said in a press release following the meeting.

“This budget is another step forward for our city. It meets three priorities—improve public safety, improve public education and still keep our city affordable. The budget increases spending where more resources were needed—in police and education. Keeping citizens safe and providing top notch education for our children are top priorities,” Fiorentini said.