New London will retain its membership in the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments after the City Council unanimously voted Monday to provide the funding for the organization’s yearly dues.
The council agreed to the transfer of $15,191 from the ’s payroll to Mayor Daryl Finizio’s budget for dues and subscriptions. Chief Administrative Officer Jane Glover said the money is coming from the salary budgeted for an employee who has left the department.
In a July 16 letter to Jim Butler, executive director of SCCOG, Finizio said the city would be in the organization during the 2013 fiscal year. Finizio said the council removed funding for the dues during the budget process and that he was unable to authorize payment without council approval.
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Councilor John Maynard said he wanted to ensure that funding for dues is budgeted properly, and that he would favor placing the money in the budget of the council or if Finizio does not attend the SCCOG meetings. Council President Michael Passero said he attends the SCCOG meetings when Finizio is unable to.
New London’s contribution represents 10 percent of the total dues paid by the 20 municipalities making up SCCOG, which works to secure funding for regional projects such as transportation and water improvements.
Butler sent a letter to Finizio and Council President Michael Passero on July 18 along with a white paper outlining the benefits of belonging to SCCOG. This paper said SCCOG helped New London receive $6.5 million for the project, $1.7 million for the first phase of the rehabilitation of Montauk Ave., and $40,000 for the purchase of an elderly and handicapped accessible van.
SCCOG’s Transportation Improvement Program has approved about $1.9 million in acquired funds to the second phase of the Montauk Ave. improvement. The city is also under consideration for funding for several other projects to improve roads and intersections as well as and the .
"The administration has maintained throughout that SCCOG is a valuable organization for the city of New London to be a part of," Finizio said in a statement. "I'm grateful that the City Council voted to continue our membership."