By SCOTT JACKSON
Mayor Thomas Koch is set to unveil his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 during Monday’s City Council meeting.
The meeting, which is being held via videoconference, begins at 5:30 p.m. The public can watch the meeting on Zoom; the meeting ID number is 854 3078 1511 and the dial-in number for audio only is 646-558-8656. The meeting will also air on QATV Channel 9 (government access).
Koch has traditionally introduced his budget proposal on the first Monday in May, but he delayed doing so this year because of the financial uncertainty by the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor has told the School Committee he does not foresee any layoffs or cuts to city services as a result of the budget; he also wants to avoid a property tax increase next year.
“The goal…is that we have a budget that is fairly lean, doesn’t have any cuts to services and will not result in a tax increase in the fall. If there is a time that we should try to mitigate any impact on property tax increases, I think it’s a year like this,” Koch told the school board April 29. He has re-iterated those points at two subsequent committee meetings.
The council’s finance committee will meet in the coming weeks to review the budget proposal; councillors can cut money from the budget, but not add to it. The council also only sets the bottom line budget for the Quincy Public Schools; the school board is responsible for setting the district’s budget.
In addition to introducing the budget, Koch will also submit a request to borrow up to $14 million to convert the office building at 178 Old Colony Ave. in Wollaston in to a special education learning center.
The council in November approved Koch’s request to borrow $8.5 million to purchase the building and make initial upgrades to the facility, including the installation of a new elevator. School officials have said the new learning center could open as soon as the summer of 2021 and could accommodate up to 300 students on the autism spectrum from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.
Also on Monday, Council President Nina Liang will introduce an ordinance that would allow the city to fine residents and businesses $50 if they place trash bags curbside without placing them in an acceptable receptacle.