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West Haven News

Posted on: January 4, 2021

West Haven audit shows continued progress

West Haven Seal wide

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 4, 2021 — The city’s audit for fiscal year 2020 highlighted continued fiscal responsibility and progress while meeting the state-mandated audit deadline of Dec. 31 for the first time in more than a decade, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced.

West Haven’s general fund capped the fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2020, with positive operations of $2.2 million that boosted the fund balance, or rainy day fund, to nearly $3.6 million, Rossi said.

The city’s other major funds also fared well, Rossi said, with the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown finishing with a $766,466 surplus and the sewer fund with a $1.7 million surplus. The fund balances of the fire department and sewer fund increased to $1.9 million and $4.9 million, respectfully, she said.

The budget document credits a combination of increased revenue and decreased spending for the surpluses. The city’s long-term debt — bonds and clean water notes — decreased by $16.5 million during the audited period.

The audit was conducted by blumshapiro of West Hartford.

“I am thrilled that we were able to have the audit on time, and I want to thank our city and Board of Education staff for their efforts making it happen — it is important to me and the city,” Rossi said. “This is the third consecutive audit with positive financial operations allowing us to build substantial rainy day reserves. Certainly, the state restructuring funds have assisted us greatly in our recovery but will phase out next year.

“The city has implemented necessary structural changes, responsible budgeting techniques and fiscal accountability. Our efforts have resulted in a significant turnaround and recovery from the dismal financial situation the city faced just three years ago. I want to thank our city and educational staff and the members of the City Council and Board of Education for their hard work, conscientious decision-making and support. Our work is not done, but we have made great progress and are headed in the right direction.”

Rossi continued: “As I have stated in the past, West Haven needed to focus on and fix its fiscal situation before we could expect substantial development opportunities and the needed investment in our aging infrastructure. Just like any struggling household would respond, we made some difficult sacrifices and went without for a bit. Our efforts have been successful, and now the city is in a position where we are seeing a flurry of interest from developers and investors. We have already begun to roll out our long-term plan to make the necessary investment in our aging municipal infrastructure, which includes our roads, bridges, sidewalks, parks and athletic facilities.

“Our priority will be to continue to market our city and grow our commercial grand list to stabilize our mill rate and make West Haven a better place to live and raise a family. Working with the state Legislature to establish an Enterprise Zone, finishing the Allingtown revitalization, obtaining Special Taxation District status for The Haven, completing the new high school, and developing the Savin Rock Conference Center over the next year or so will be important for continued investor confidence, growing our commercial grand list, and creating well-paying local jobs.”

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