NB City Council Passes FY17 Budget With Minimal Cuts
While the New Bedford City Council's cuts to the FY17 budget were kept to a minimum on Monday night, the final budget almost didn't pass.
The meeting at City Hall resulted in about $317,000 dollars in total cuts, with areas like the school department, EMS, and Police Department remaining untouched.
The finalized budget adoption initially failed, with an item to appropriate the $296-million budget being voted down 5-6. However, the Council ultimately decided to reconsider the vote, with Councilor Joe Lopes making the motion.
Lopes, who voted against the item the first time around, said he traditionally votes against adopting a budget because of disagreements on particular cuts.
"I made the motion to reconsider because we do need to keep the lights on in city government. We need to continue to pay employees, we need to continue to work," Lopes told WBSM News, with the item ultimately passing 6-5.
The Council mostly cut proposed 'Unit C' employee pay increases in half, which includes middle management and some upper management positions, for the city's Labor Relations, Public Facilities & Fleet Management, Public Infrastructure Department, and Solicitor's office.
The city's Planning, Housing & Community Development Department saw one of the largest cuts, with the Council voting to cut $93-thousand from the department's budget for new full-time positions.