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Nashua mayor wants budget increases held to 2 percent

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

February 05. 2018 9:12PM




NASHUA — As city departments prepare their proposed budgets, Mayor Jim Donchess says there is little room for cost increases.

He is recommending that several city departments keep their proposed budgets below a 2 percent increase, although some departments have been granted higher increase suggestions.

“Although the amount under the spending cap has increased slightly, there remains little room for any other increases to the budget,” Donchess wrote in recent memos to several government division heads. “For preliminary guidance, I am requesting that you present your proposed fiscal year 2019 budget with no more than a two percent increase over your adopted fiscal year 2018 budget.”

However, Donchess is providing slightly more leeway for some departments, including the school district, department of public works and police and fire departments. He is recommending that school officials draft a proposed budget with no more than a 2.1 percent increase.

Despite the recommendation, Superintendent Jahmal Mosley has already presented his preliminary $110 million budget — a 3.41 percent increase over the existing spending plan — that includes the hiring of 16 new staff members. That budget will likely change as school officials review the proposal.

The mayor is recommending a maximum 2.5 percent increase for Nashua Fire Rescue, Nashua Police Department and public works; a 1.2 percent maximum increase is being suggested for the Nashua Public Library.

“As we proceed towards the final budget submittal, we may need to reduce your proposed budget,” Donchess wrote in his memo providing guidance to department leaders. “Accordingly, I would recommend that you develop your budgets with your core items identified, and develop a list of items that could be reduced if necessary.”

Additional meetings are expected to take place this month with department leaders as they finalize their proposed budgets to be considered by Donchess. The mayor will then craft his own budget that will be presented to the Board of Aldermen for consideration; this typically takes place in early May.

khoughton@newstote.com


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