Saturday, 2:15 PM
Menino orders hiring freeze as Boston eyes budget cuts
By Donovan Slack, Globe Staff
Mayor Thomas M. Menino ordered his top finance officials today to begin a detailed review of city spending, particularly capital improvement projects in the pipeline. The move comes a day after Governor Deval Patrick announced the worst single round of midyear budget rollbacks in state history.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino
Menino also instituted a city hiring freeze and asked officials at the Boston Redevelopment Authority to push through approvals of imminent developments to encourage construction jobs.
"These are difficult times," the mayor's spokeswoman, Dorothy Joyce, said today. "The city has been through them before. We'll get through them again. It is true, it will be difficult, but we will adjust."
City officials said they are still combing through the more than $1 billion of state budget cuts announced by Patrick last night to determine how Boston will be affected.
A number of departments had been relying on state funding for capital improvements to city properties, including the school department, the Boston Center for Youth and Families, the public library, and the parks, transportation, and public works departments. The city had expected to receive $219 million from state coffers to pay for repairs, maintenance, and new construction. It is unclear how much of that funding will be pulled.
The city also has been relying on $247 million in federal funding and had planned to borrow another $600 million for capital improvements over the next five years. The planned expenditures include roof repairs at various schools and community centers, maintenance and repairs at the Boston Common, city ball fields, a municipal building in Uphams Corner, and the Veronica Smith Senior Center in Brighton. Street and sidewalk repairs and equipment purchases for the Fire Department also had been planned.
Donovan Slack can be reached at email@example.com.
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