By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Hartford residents will see a slight increase of city spending after the City Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Luke Bronin’s proposed $573.2 million budget for 2020.
City spending will increase by $3.2 million, or less than one percent over the current year. The budget is effective July 1.
Under the new budget, the size of the city’s workforce remains smaller than previous years. For example, there are 54 fewer workers than in 2015. However, spending for the Hartford Police Department increased by 0.3 percent to $46.6 million so that the city can hire 60 additional police officers. The department is expected to add 26 officers. In all, there will be 436 police officers by July 2020.
Spending is also flat with the education budget. That budget maintains the educational spending of previous years, $284 million. It will be supplemented by an additional $3.2 million from the state’s budget. Part of that amount will be used on reducing chronic absenteeism.
There is an increase on public safety. The Hartford Fire Department’s budget increased by $1 million or about 3 percent over the current year to $34.3 million.
Capital improvements also got a boost with $24.5 million paid through grants and the city’s general fund. The budget will cover ongoing renovations such as Weaver High School, roads and sidewalks.
The Municipal Accountability Review Board, which will oversee the state’s agreement to pay off the $550 million in Hartford’s debt, will review the budget.