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West Haven faces deadline to submit fiscal year budget

Pedro Xing
Wikimedia Commons

The City of West Haven has a week to fix its budget for the next fiscal year ahead of a state-mandated deadline.

A state oversight board rejected the city’s $163 million budget proposal last month and set June 15 as the deadline for its revision.

Mayor Nancy Rossi spoke on some minor changes that need to be made to the 2023 budget during a special City Council meeting on Tuesday.

“I’d rather all of us have some say in the budget considering we all live here,” said Rossi. “I think that’s important.”

The board questioned how the city would balance the budget in the long-term with a re-negotiated police contract.

The original budget increased officer pay by $10,000. It would be paid for through tax-exemption benefit payments from businesses and $2 million in federal pandemic relief funding, which is a temporary cash infusion, according to the state oversight board.

Bridgette Hoskie, chair of the city’s finance committee, said she is concerned that the state board could determine that the budget passed is not good enough.

“I feel like it’s just ceremonial,” she said. “Because we can make changes and do what we feel is in the best interest of our constituents, and they can still come in and change every single thing.”

The state took issue with the city’s finances because of its mismanagement of federal coronavirus relief funding.

Two city employees were arrested in October, including state Rep. Michael DiMassa, who was charged with stealing pandemic funds for personal use.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.