Nashua mayor asks to spend $4M of surplus, departments seek $2.35M in purchases that weren't budgetedBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
August 14. 2018 10:41AM
NASHUA — The mayor is asking that about $4 million in surplus from the prior budget be earmarked in the new 2019 budget for various projects and purchases.
Mayor Jim Donchess is requesting that the Board of Aldermen reappropriate $4,096,593 as fiscal year 2019 escrows, a proposal that will be introduced to the board on Tuesday and will be considered by the aldermanic Budget Review Committee in the coming weeks.
Of that request, $1,739,039 has already been authorized by the administration since the escrow items echo the original intent of the prior year’s budget, but were ultimately delayed.
The remaining escrow requests of $2,357,554 are new department recommendations for purchases not included in the previous budget, which would need approval from aldermen.
The largest escrow item is a recommendation from the mayor to transfer $1,325,000 to the city’s Capital Equipment Reserve Fund — a fund that accepts annual appropriations that are intended to help replace all of Nashua’s capital equipment.
Other escrow requests include $12,745 to make improvements to the aldermanic chambers, $20,000 for playground equipment and improvements, $10,000 for street planters, more than $9,000 to repurpose computers at the Arlington Street Community Center, and $12,000 for property management services.
Money previously earmarked for a greenhouse study is now being recommended to help fund the Livable Nashua Dashboard, a new website aimed to help residents quickly locate information on various city projects and initiatives, and provide insight and feedback.
“This tool is an excellent platform to provide quality data on some of the amazing programs and efforts the city is implementing daily to improve the quality of life within Nashua,” Donchess said in an online statement. “We look forward to your feedback and ongoing engagement.”
Escrow requests totaling about $9,500 are eyed for the new Livable Nashua Dashboard project, with about half of that previously reserved for the greenhouse study.
Aldermen will be considering other escrow requests, including $200,000 for the school department’s retirement reserve, $100,000 for sidewalk improvements, $100,000 to remove invasive species along the riverfront, $25,000 for improvements to the Tree Streets neighborhood, $150,000 for library courtyard improvements, $20,000 to fund downtown concerts and more.
“Any approved escrows decrease surplus at fiscal year’s end,” states the mayor’s proposed resolution, adding the $2,357,554 in escrows being considered by aldermen represent less than 1 percent of the operating budget adopted for fiscal year 2018.
Last year’s escrow requests were about $2.5 million.