Bridgeport City Council borrows $110M to pay bills
Posted in the Trumbull Forum
#1 Feb 25, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- It was fitting that as City Council members borrowed $110 million to pay Bridgeport's bills, there was a chill in their meeting room Monday night.
In this case, the chill was from a low thermostat setting. But without the $110 million, the city would have to stop payments to vendors and employees.
Just don't call Bridgeport broke, some city officials said.
"We're not broke," said Councilman Angel dePara Jr., whose Budget and Appropriations Committee unanimously approved borrowing $110 million in so-called tax anticipation notes. "It's just (that) the cycle of the majority of money that comes in is challenging."
The matter now goes to the full council for final approval.
Councilman Andre Baker, Jr., who is not a committee member but attended Monday's meeting to observe the vote, said afterward if the city needs to borrow money to pay its bills, the city is technically broke.
Baker said Bridgeport must stop relying on tax anticipation notes.
"What are you doing so you don't get to that point?" Baker said. "With our personal finances we've got to cut back on things, plan ahead. What are they doing to plan ahead?"
Supporters of tax anticipation notes say they're a common tool used by cities and towns because of tax and budget cycles. Bridgeport will eventually repay the money once residents pay their taxes and once state lawmakers finalize Connecticut's budget, which contains municipal aid.
Since 2006, the city -- starting with then-Mayor John Fabrizi and continuing under Mayor Bill Finch -- has annually relied on short-term borrowing to stay in business. For the past few years, the amount has been $110 million.
Committee members also wrestled with other news in November's financial report, including budget overruns in several departments. Council members were particularly concerned about police overtime. As of November, police overtime was $3.5 million over budget.
"We're way, way off," said Councilman Susan Brannelly, D-130.
Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/City-Coun...
Since: Aug 10
#2 Feb 26, 2013
The snow storm did not help.
#3 Feb 26, 2013
jus keep givin us ur money..hws it feel to be da slave???? Obama turnd it aroun now we incharg
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