North Adams OKs $41M budget with slight spending increase

North Adams City Councilor Jason LaForest, highlighted center tile, spoke out several times during Tuesday night's council meeting against the use of reserve funds to meet fiscal 2021 budget expenses. Other councilors, as well as the mayor, say they have ongoing concerns about raising revenues and a sustainable budget to run the city in years to come.

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NORTH ADAMS — The North Adams City Council on Tuesday finally approved a nearly $41 million fiscal 2021 budget.

The vote came after sometimes contentious discussion on a number of issues, including a plan to offset city budget expenses by digging into several reserve funds.

The total budget approved was $40,939,756, reflecting an increase of $134,218, or 0.33 percent, over last year's plan.

The process had been shelved amid financial uncertainties raised by the COVID-19 outbreak in March. Spending plans were decided month by month through the Finance Committee, with a total of $11,396,776 approved for use during July, August and September.

Approving the budget took more than two hours, as councilors took turns raising concerns about the cuts and reserve funds being used to get to this figure, and questioning the ultimate effects on both the taxpayers and city's infrastructure, as maintenance and repairs get kicked farther down the road.

This story will be updated.


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