The city budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year is calling for an additional 18.5 positions in various municipal departments, with the majority in the police department.
The budget calls for a lieutenant, 11 police officers, a secretary and a part-time crimes analyst to be added to the . Finance Director Jim Lathrop said there are currently three vacant police officer positions, and the positions would be funded for six months due to the time it will take to approve the budget and hire for the positions. The budget also calls for a deputy chief in the ; a department head for the consolidated Department of Facilities, Development, and Planning; an accounting technician for the ; a system analyst for the Information Technology Department; and a part-time administrative assistant and part-time accountant in the . The new positions would add $732,369 in salaries.
The city’s expenditures are predicted to increase from $80,884,926 to $83,241,246. Of this amount, 47.8 percent is spent on education, 45.5 percent on city services, and 6.7 percent on debt service. This represents a 4.9 percent increase in the mill rate, from 25.31 to 26.55. Property taxes for the 2011 fiscal year were assessed at $38,440,262 and are predicted to go up to $41,207,220 for the 2012 fiscal year year.
Under the budget process, departments submit requests by the end of the year and the city manager and finance director work to create a draft budget, which the city manager publishes in April. The City Council adopts a recommended appropriation ordinance and tax rate ordinance by the end of the month, and the Board of Finance holds a public hearing on the budget and informs the City Council of any action taken under the appropriation ordinance by May 15. The council votes on the budget by May 30.
The budget notes that 45 percent of municipal revenue comes from the state, but that this amount could fall at least $518,253 under a budget proposed by Governor Dannel Malloy. State and federal grants are estimated to fall from the current budget of $10,644,466 to $9,938,435. Total revenue from grants, investments, and other sources such as income from government agencies and transfer from other funds is set at $83,241,246, an increase from the 2011 fiscal year budget of 76,960,501. Most of this increase comes from a predicted increase in the equalized cost sharing education grant from $19,208,136 to $22,940,565.
“There will be a lot of tough decisions that have to be made,” Lathrop said
The city will switch from a city manager form of government to an elected mayor in November, and the budget for that office is increasing from $206,552 to $245,639 for wages and longevity. Increasing health, pension, and other costs bring the total budget from $293,814 to a proposed $380,583. The mayor’s position includes a chief administrator to be appointed by the mayor.
The ’s budget increased from $544,497 to $1,008,388. Lathrop said the , though a part of the Recreation Department, was originally considered a special revenue fund. He said it was moved to the general fund to ensure employment for workers there through the fiscal year if there are difficulties in obtaining grants.
Lathrop said the propose a budget each year, and the City Council chooses how much to allocate to them. The district has requested $40,741,333, a 2.2 percent increase over last year. Under the city manager’s proposed budget, the schools would be flat-funded. Tommy Thompsons, principal of the , said Monday that such a decision could result in layoffs.
“You would have to look at the state requirements and once you get beyond that you start to cut,” he said.
Lathrop said the City Council by law cannot allocate less money to the schools than the previous fiscal year. Residents may petition for an increased allocation to the schools, in which case the question would go to a referendum vote.
The budget is available online at the city's website.
City Manager Budget Proposal, by the numbers
- $83,241,246: general fund budget proposed by interim City Manager Denise Rose.
- 26.55: mill rate under proposed budget.
- 25.31: current mill rate.
- 4.9 percent: proposed increase in mill rate.
- $1,562,326,818: net taxable assessment as of Oct. 1, 2010, according to city website.
- $38,440,262: property tax assessed for the 2011 fiscal year budget.
- $41,207,220: property tax assessment predicted for the 2012 fiscal year budget.
- $39,791,546: property tax revenue actually received in the 2010 fiscal year.
- 45 percent: percentage of revenue the city receives from the state.
- $518,253: minimum decrease in state revenue under Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget.
- $76,960,501: revenue from state, federal, and education grants as well as investments and other sources in the 2011 fiscal year budget.
- $83,241,246: revenue from state, federal, and education grants as well as investments and other sources predicted in the 2012 fiscal year budget.
- $293,814: proposed budget for mayor’s office for the 2012 fiscal year.
- $380,583: proposed budget for the mayor/city manager’s office for the 2011 fiscal year.
- $11,357,625: budget for five areas of New London Police Department in 2011 fiscal year.
- $11,682,045: proposed budget for five areas of New London Police Department for 2012 fiscal year.
- $7,103,854: New London Fire Department total budget in 2011 fiscal year.
- $7,360,815: proposed New London Fire Department budget for 2012 fiscal year.
- $80,884,926: expenditures in 2011 fiscal year budget.
- $83,241,246: expenditures predicted in 2012 fiscal year budget
- 47.8 percent: percentage of expenditures spent on education.
- $40,741,333: school budget proposed to City Council by Board of Education.
- 2.32 percent: increase in school budget from 2011 fiscal year.
- $20,127,327: actual earnings by city employees in calendar year 2010; includes overtime, stipend pay, longevity pay, and other earnings besides wages.