City makes plans for $5.2 million surplus
By ADAM URQUHART
NASHUA – From allocating $150,000 toward the cost of a new boat ramp, to spending $65,000 for flashing signals at downtown crosswalks, Mayor Jim Donchess is making big plans for the $5.2 million surplus the city has left over from the fiscal 2019 budget.
“During the course of the year, we try to save money wherever we can, and when we don’t have to spend money, we don’t spend it,” Donchess said regarding why the city has so much extra money.
Donchess said there are two reasons why Nashua has extra cash available: Unspent funds and revenues that exceeded initial expectations.
Some of the money, about $2.1 million, has already been programmed for the 2020 budget. The remaining $3.1 million is to be allocated with the passage of Resolution 19-170. During last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting, members decided to transfer this resolution for consideration by the city’s Budget Review Committee.
“The large majority is being allocated into funds that will save taxpayers in the future,” Donchess said.
The tentative spending plans for the $3.1 million as outlined in the resolution now under consideration are as follows:
$2,400 for office supplies;
$8,900 toward the cost of improvements to the Aldermanic Chamber;
$255,000 for consulting services;
$65,000 for flashing signals at downtown crosswalks;
$65,000 for construction of a fuel island;
$13,000 for parking equipment;
$3,210 for public health stipends;
$31,500 toward the cost of an integrated library system;
$14,500 for a bicycle pedestrian plan;
$5,000 for professional services of the Energy and Environment Committee;
$10,000 for conferences and seminars;
$140,000 for the School Capital Reserve Fund;
$69,319 for an project at the Nashua Airport;
$8,000 for interns;
$310,000 for the City Building Fund;
$4,484 for the Arlington Street Community Center;
$75,000 for pension costs for unsettled contracts;
$1.2 million for the Capital Equipment Reserve Fund, which saves money to be used to purchase garbage trucks, for example;
$24,692 to repair an elevator in the police building;
$100,000 for police overtime;
$300,000 toward the cost of the Division of Public Works building;
$15,000 for an East Hollis Street/Bridge Street traffic study;
$100,000 for the Hydropower Reserve Fund;
$40,000 for the Tree Streets “Your Streets, Your Choice” project;
$150,000 for the new boat ramp;
$40,000 to establish an Arts District;
$22,000 to replace equipment in the Planning Department;
$50,000 for holiday lighting;
$35,000 for summer concerts and events; and
$10,000 for salaries in Urban Programs.
Donchess said at the end of the year, these surplus funds are used to help save taxpayers money. If the city did not have these funds, he said officials may have to suddenly spike property tax rates to fill the gap.
The Budget Review Committee is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 in the Aldermanic Chamber at City Hall, 229 Main St.
Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.