Council to Vote on Final Haverhill City, School Budgets Tuesday

(WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

Haverhill's City Council takes a final vote on the 2019 fiscal year budget relating to the city, schools and other agencies Tuesday. (WHAV News file photograph)

After weeks of often tense budget negotiations, Haverhill’s City Council is set to take a final vote to approve the city, schools, water and wastewater budgets for the 2019 fiscal year on Tuesday night.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

The final vote happens in the wake of Councilors approving a compromise budget that comes nearly half way to meeting school advocates’ demands, while adding two more police officers.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini proposed adding approximately $1 million in new spending, giving the school department $150,000 towards a request for an additional $425,000 in school funding. Fiorentini tacked on an extra $50,000 after councilors cut his tree-planting budget by the same amount.

“You asked for a compromise, and I came in with a compromise. It’s the best that I can do,” Fiorentini said at the June 20 meeting.

Councilors voted 5-4 to tentatively approve the $195 million spending plan for the year that begins July 1. Voting against were Council President John A. Michitson and Councilors Melinda E. Barrett, Colin F. LePage and Tim Jordan.

Michitson is hopeful his holdout will allow for a more robust budget to combat crime. “I’m going to hold out for $400,000,” Michitson said. “Violent crime is very much related to the schools as a long-term solution.”

Also on Tuesday’s Council agenda is the determination of the water and wastewater user rates for the next fiscal year. Councilor Tim Jordan plans to discuss the need for a new Haverhill High School crew team boathouse.

Tuesday’s meeting takes place in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at 4 Summer St., and the meeting is open to the public. 97.9 FM WHAV plans to carry the budget vote live, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m.