In a charter-mandated, joint meeting with the Fall River City Council and Fall River School Committee last night, Mayor Jasiel Correia II briefed the gathered on the financial climate of the city of Fall River leading up to the fiscal year 2020 budget.
A part of the presentation that garnered attention from many city officials was the administration proposing the debt exclusion for the new B.M.C Durfee High School begin with fiscal year 2020 instead of the original starting point of fiscal year 2023. A major selling point in the campaign to finance a portion of the new high school was the delay of increased taxes.
If this debt exclusion does in fact become part of the 2020 fiscal year budget, it would be worth just over 2.1 millions dollars and begin the 30-year life of this bond. Mayor Correia called the number a “placeholder” for now as negotiations continue between the school department and the companies bidding on transportation. It was made known this week transportation costs could possibly be 2 millions dollars more than originally anticipated - roughly the same number as the debt exclusion.
Mayor Correia also mentioned that his administration will be looking for alternative revenue in digital billboards, indoor advertising inside of Government Center and tax revenue from cannabis sales with two more recreational licenses being granted in the last week to the Fall River.
School committee member and runner-up in last month’s recall election to Mayor Correia Paul Coogan said voters were sold on the idea of the debt exclusion coming in 2023 as he was a proponent for it in its campaign.
Coogan asked the mayor if he would hold a press conference as this is a very important piece of news for taxpayers. Correia reiterated that this is a placeholder and if negotiations are successful with the school department reducing transportation costs the number may not appear in the final budget for fiscal year 2020.