Mayor Submits $245.7 Million City Spending Plan; City Council to Hold Hearings with Departments

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News photograph.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

While not formally on the Haverhill City Council agenda tonight, release of Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s $245.7 million proposed spending plan is expected to be front of mind.

The mayor says the budget for the year that begins July 1 increases by $12 million—with the school department being $8.7 million of that. In fact, $8.7 million is also the number the mayor reports as an expected increase in state education aid. School Committee members last Thursday raised their own concerns. (See separate story.)

Fiorentini said the spending plan includes 8.5 new city jobs, including four additional firefighters, and adds $300,000 in overtime pay to the fire department’s budget. The mayor says he added $390,000 for street and sidewalk repair and $780,000 for capital projects.

“This makes it the largest increase in our budget outside of schools and employee benefits. I know that there are councilors who want even more but adding the four firefighters this year is exactly what the study recommended and the increase in overtime will allow us to do even more,” the mayor says in a draft message to city councilors.

The mayor said $54,000 to the Stadium Commission also allows local teams to use the fields more often.

“This replaces the money they were getting from renting out the fields. This will allow our own teams, the soccer and lacrosse teams, to use the stadium as their home turf and not have to go elsewhere,” he adds.

Councilors are expected to develop a timetable for meeting with department heads, hearing their requests and determining whether they agree with the mayor’s allocations. Councilors under the city charter are allowed to cut from the mayor’s budget, but not directly add to it. However, councilors have previously voted down the budget in its entirety to force changes.

The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7, remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

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