CITY MONEY FOR REID AND HUGHES
Stabilization efforts for the crumbling Reid and Hughes building have been given the financial green light by the Norwich City Council. Aldermen unanimously Monday night agree to turn-over 150-thousand city dollars for the project. The money is expected to be the final piece of the money puzzle needed for the preferred developer, the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development, to begin stabilization of the building. Aldermen, though, admitted, they have concerns as to whether the project will be successful. Council President Pro-Tem Bill Nash says it’s time to suck it up. The agreement would have the city be repaid once the stabilization is complete. The money wouldn’t be paid back, if the work is not completed. Alderman Stacey Gould notes the only alternative, demolition, would be far more costly. The Women’s Institute plans to put housing and retail space at the Main Street site. They hope to have the stabilization work completed during summer.
CITY MANAGER OUT WITH BUDGET
Norwich aldermen will now look through the 126-point-8 million dollar budget proposal for the next fiscal year presented Monday night by the city manager. John Salamone’s plan calls for a 4-point-5 percent property tax increase in the town district, almost 7-percent in the city district. He says one of the biggest spending increases is in pension contributions for city employees. Salamone’s budget calls for a 100-thousand dollar contribution into the Sachem Fund, a joint effort between the city and the Mohegan tribe to fund beneficial projects for Norwich. His plan also funds four additional police officers, and another clerk in the assessor’s office. One administrative position would be eliminated in the Planning and Neighborhood Services department. School funding would go up 2-percent. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled next Monday night.
ESTY NOT SEEKING A FOURTH TERM
Connecticut U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty says she won’t seek re-election amid calls for her to resign because of her handling of a sexual harassment case involving her former chief of staff. The Democrat issued a statement Monday saying she has determined it’s in the best interest of her constituents and her family to end her time in Congress at the end of this year “and not seek re-election.” Esty is in the middle of her third term. She is again apologizing to a former female member of her staff who said she was punched in the back and received death threats in 2016. The man accused of punching her was not fired for several months, pending an internal investigation. Esty says she’ll work to improve workplace protections during her final months in office.
LEMBO PROJECTS DEFICIT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – State Comptroller Kevin Lembo says Connecticut is on track to end the current fiscal year on June 30 with a $197.7 million deficit, but acknowledges that may change. The Democrat explained Monday, in a letter to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the final figure depends upon tax receipts collected in April and growth in Wall Street bonuses over the past year. A recent annual report from the New York State comptroller revealed how bonuses in the securities industry are up 17 percent over the last year, averaging $184,220. Many workers on Wall Street live in Connecticut and therefore would help fuel growth in the withholding portion of the state’s personal income tax. Lembo says the corporation and sales taxes continue to underperform, noting action will be needed to close the deficit.
MGM NEEDS MORE WORKERS
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – The company building a casino resort in Springfield is looking for many more employees in a new hiring push. MGM Resorts International announced Monday that it is adding postings for more than 1,000 jobs on its website. The entertainment complex is looking for food service workers, electrical technicians, carpenters and painters. The resort will eventually employ 3,000 people. The company had previously listed 1,400 jobs. MGM Springfield’s President Michael Mathis calls the opportunities for employment, “endless.” There are also positions available for human resources, and conference services. The 2-million-square-foot project will open in September in downtown Springfield. MGM Springfield announced its intention to building in the city back in 2012.