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Nashua mayor seeks $3 million in surplus for 2015 projects

NASHUA — The mayor is requesting that nearly $3 million in surplus from the prior budget be earmarked in the new 2015 budget for various projects and capital improvements.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is asking the Board of Aldermen to re-appropriate $2,928,910 as fiscal year 2015 escrows, which will likely be considered by the aldermanic Budget Review Committee in the coming weeks. A large portion of that request — nearly $2.2 million — has already been authorized by administration.

“Some of the escrows are for the original intent of the fiscal year 2014 adopted budget, but were delayed due to unforeseen issues or timing,” Lozeau wrote in the proposed resolution. “Other escrows are department requests for unlike purposes.”

Escrow requests being recommended include more than $190,000 for deferred maintenance projects, more than $120,000 to fund the Main Street sidewalk project, $260,000 to replenish the snow trust fund, $575,000 to fund pension costs, $427,363 to cover negotiation contingency costs and more.

“The majority of these things we can’t control,” Lozeau explained Monday, adding the $3 million in surplus is about average for a city budget as large as Nashua’s.

Smaller surplus funds will be used for pool repairs, to purchase new playground equipment, train employees and improve baseball fields, according to the proposal.

While most of the requested $3 million in escrows would cover projects already assigned last year but never completed, there is about $758,000 in new initiatives being recommended by Lozeau, which will require authorization by aldermen.

Some of the new projects include $70,000 to fund the design of an addition to the Spit Brook Road fire station, more than $300,000 for crosswalks, $104,000 to fund items recommended by the Downtown Improvement Committee and $50,000 to help retrofit the city’s transit garage to house compressed natural gas vehicles.

“I consider all of these requests important, or I wouldn’t be asking for them,” said Lozeau, adding the crosswalks at Concord and Manchester streets, along with the replenishment of the snow fund, are critical projects.

Aldermen will meet at 7:30 p.m. tonight for a full board meeting. The proposed appropriation of fiscal year 2015 escrows will be introduced to aldermen, however, it will be discussed in further detail at an upcoming committee meeting before a recommendation is made and a final vote is taken by the board.

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