MANCHESTER — Mayor Ted Gatsas says that after crunching numbers since November, he's ready to release his budget for the next fiscal year.
Gatsas is scheduled to present the budget tonight during a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
The mayor said he was still putting some final touches on the budget as late as Friday. He said the budget falls within the city tax cap, which limited increases to the budgets for the city and school district to a maximum of 2.13 percent.
The mayor said as the city considers new ways to generate revenue, there is a lot of work to be done before the aldermen sign off on the official plan to allocate funds in fiscal year 2015."It's going to be an even bigger challenge for the aldermen," Gatsas said. "I'm willing to work with them. Any time they want to come in and have discussions, the door to my office will be open. We'll work on this until we get a budget put together."
Superintendent Deborah Livingston and the Board of School Committee submitted a budget of $160 million last week to the aldermen, who will consider that along with what Gatsas presents.
Gatsas writes budgets for both the city and the schools, then the aldermen will review the plans while determining what the final numbers will be when the June deadline arrives. The fiscal year begins July 1.
With the multiple budgets in the hands of 14 aldermen and Gatsas, who as mayor is a member of the board, approval can be a lengthy process.
"They'll come back with a number," Gatsas said. "If I agree with it, then we can move forward."
Gatsas said last year the largest issue was getting money to the cash-strapped school district. This year, Gatsas said he focused on coming up with a plan that would preserve city jobs.
"We tried to work with each department to make sure we present a plan that has no layoffs," he said.