East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc announced Friday she is freezing the budget immediately.
A couple of issues were the deciding factors, but the snowstorms the town has suffered through were at the top of list of reasons she felt she needed to call for the “hard freeze.”
Under the freeze there will be no non-emergency spending and the town will be cutting overtime.
Job openings will only be filled under her approval from now through June.
From now until the end of the fiscal year in July the budget gap is looking to be around $1.5 million, Leclerc said.
“East Hartford is struggling in its position,” she said. “Right now we have a significant deficit not only in relation to the 19 storms we’ve had so far in comparison to the five last year, but each storm we have costs us about $60,000 in labor and material,” said Mayor Leclerc.
Because of a smaller snow season last year the town didn’t have to deal with a budget or salt crisis.
“We’ll use sand. We’ll use the remaining salt that we have, and we’ll continue to be out there,” she said.
Residents we spoke with have mixed feelings about the Mayor’s decision to halt spending.
“We know this is New England. The weather is horrible. It’s unpredictable We could have a little bit of snow, a lot of snow so I feel they should have prepared better,” said Valerie Rivera.
“It doesn’t concern me too much, as long as she’s taking care of business,” said Tracey Deleston.
Aside from the onslaught of storms hitting the town, Leclerc said the state’s alliance district funding system has hurt the town’s budget.