The Gloucester City Council is hosting a public hearing Tuesday on Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken's fiscal 2020 budget.

It is also hosting hearings on loan authorizations of $3.15 million for redesign and retrofit the Gloucester High School flood barrier and of borrowing another $900,000 for a total of $1.15 million to demolish the Magnolia Pier and reconstruct it.

The hearings will take place during the council's regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall.

The mayor is asking city taxpayers to bankroll $114.9 million for day-to-day city operations in the coming year, an increase of 3.09 percent, or $4 million, over this year's $110.9 million budget that runs through June 30.

Her proposal offers spending increases for most departments and services.

Highlights of  Romeo Theken's proposed city budget for fiscal 2020, which begins July 1 are:

OPERATIONS BUDGET

Schools allocation: $43.1 million, a 2.86 percent —or $1.2 million — increase over the $41.94 million budgeted this fiscal year. The School Committee has approved a fiscal 2020 budget of $43.445 million, a 1.2 percent increase over this year.

Public Works: $5.3 million, an increase of $422,283, or 3.84 percent.

Police: $7.03 million, increase of $243,448, or 3.59 percent.

Fire Department: $9.04 million, increase of $144,335, or 1.62 percent.

Employees' health, life insurance: $7.99 million, an increase of $282,189, or 3.66 percent.

Sawyer Free Library administration: $1.12 million, an increase of $115,278, or 11.47 percent.

Debt service: $11.9 million, an increase of $90,777, or 0.77 percent.

ENTERPRISE FUNDS

These funds are self-sustaining through user fee revenues and other funding sources:

Water: $6.5 million, increase of $341,727, or 5.5 percent.

Sewer: $8.4 million, increase of $299,730, or 3.77 percent.

Talbot Rink: $334,475, increase of $1,860, or 0.56 percent.

 

Waterways: $457,526, increase of $18,334, or 4.17 percent.

The mayor has touted her spending plan as being in line with the needs of the city and its taxpayers. The city's tax rate will be calculated again in November, once the state certifies any surplus revenue for the city from this fiscal year and property assessments are updated.

"This budget reflects a balanced and responsible spending plan for our community that continues to invest in municipal infrastructure, education and public safety," Romeo Theken's budget report says.

James Destino, the city's chief administrative officer, has said new growth stemming from the Fuller School site development, the advancement of Happy Valley Ventures in the retail sale and cultivation of recreational marijuana products, and rise in the number of building permits, will give the city the chance to invest in initiatives such as street repair and other projects.

 

BUDGET BANTER

What: City Council is hosting public hearings, during its regular meeting, on Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken's proposed $144.9 million fiscal 2020 budget, and loan authorizations for the Magnolia Pier and Gloucester High School flood barrier.

When: Tuesday, June 11, at 7 p.m.

Where: Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall, 9 Dale Ave.