NEWBURYPORT — The City Council will decide Monday night whether to approve the proposed city budget for fiscal 2020.
The proposed $83,969,620 budget was filed last month by Mayor Donna Holaday, and would result in a 3.9% increase over the previous fiscal year.
The budget includes an additional $1 million for the city’s public schools for a total appropriation of $30.9 million. Overall, schools, state funding formulas, solid waste, employee benefits and contractual increases are the major budget drivers, according to the mayor.
The budget was received by the City Council on May 15, and the council is required to act on it by June 29.
Also on the agenda for Monday’s council meeting is an order that would transfer care and custody of the former G.W. Brown School building from the School Committee to the City Council.
The 1920s-era school closed in 2014. Since then, Newburyport Youth Services has occupied the first floor and uses the gymnasium, but the rest of the building is vacant. Some city officials see the site as an opportunity to create affordable housing, and officials have recently expressed interest in relocating Youth Services to another location, possibly a former National Guard garage on Low Street.
According to the order, the School Committee decided recently to designate the building as a surplus property that is no longer required by the School Department. The committee voted 6-1 to decommission the building an transfer its care, custody and disposition to Holaday and the City Council.
School Committee member Bruce Menin opposed the vote, saying that it was “shortsighted” to give up the building, and that he had concerns about the adjacent playground.
The council is scheduled to meet Monday at 7:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 60 Pleasant St.
For more on the proposed city budget for fiscal 2020, visit https://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/newburyport-mayor-proposes-budget-increase-for-fiscal/article_0d691e09-41a5-5c1d-8ea6-ab94cfada4e0.html
To view the City Council “packet” for Monday’s meeting, visit https://www.cityofnewburyport.com/sites/newburyportma/files/agendas/city_council_packet_06-10-19_final.pdf
Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newburyport City Hall. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.