Central Falls – On Tuesday, May 15th, Mayor James A. Diossa
delivered his vision and goals for the City’s 2019 fiscal year at the Central
Falls High School auditorium. The speech was streamed on Facebook live. The
city budget is also available online on the City’s website at
Over 75 city residents and leaders
including members of the City Council, City Judges, Department Directors,
and community members attended the address, which was highlighted by no tax
increase for the upcoming fiscal year.
“Our hardworking residents have had to shoulder
the cost that came along with the City’s bankruptcy through tax increases,”
stated Mayor James A. Diossa. “We are fortunate to be in a position where we
will continue to provide the high quality services that have turned our City
around for fiscal year 2019 without having to increase the burden on our
Mayor Diossa’s proposed budget continues to
build on strategic investments that have propelled the City’s reemergence since
Diossa took office in 2012.
The new budget continues to emphasize sound,
fiscal stability. The City will be making the full Annual Required Contribution
to the pension plan and will be funding the other Post Employment at $100,000
for the upcoming fiscal year which will keep the City on track to get its
pension fund out of ‘critical funding’ status by 2027.
Other vital components include the doubling of
the tax exemption rate on vehicles from $1000 to $2000 and an 11% contribution
of the budget to the City’s ‘rainy day’ fund, which was established in the 2018
fiscal year. Mayor Diossa’s vision continues to not just focus on the short
term, but also on the long term health of Central Falls.
“Why is this important? Because the next time
the economy starts raining on Central Falls beyond our control, we don’t want
to ever be underwater again. I want to make sure that whoever is sitting in the
Mayor’s office can navigate any future crisis without hurting our taxpayers.”
Along with sound fiscal management, Mayor
Diossa’s also reaffirmed his commitment to economic development in the City. He
spoke of the potential of the district surrounding the train station, now named
Conant Thread District, that will usher in significant development,
private investments and good paying jobs for residents.
Another important project underway is the
opening of a Rhode Island College workforce development hub at the former
Dexter Credit Union site that will create job and education opportunities for
residents of Central Falls and the Blackstone Valley.
The budget proposal continues the City’s
dedication to providing the residents high quality city services and quality of
life. The City will be updating the road and sidewalk condition assessment in
order to create a plan that addresses any deficiencies by the time Mayor Diossa
leaves office in 2021.
Mayor Diossa will continue his vast efforts in
parks and recreation by providing residents with numerous events and activities
including the Central Falls Car Show, Zumba classes in the new Governor Lincoln
Almond Park, and rolling out a plan for senior programming to be offered in
partnership with Progreso Latino.
In his speech, Mayor Diossa highlighted one
major initiative for the 2019 fiscal year. He will be proposing a bond
referendum for city voters to consider this November that will look to re-open
a community center.
“Two years ago, I created a Commission to
explore various options for re-opening the Ralph J. Holden Community Center
because its closing left a hole in our city and in our hearts. Now that we have
several options and now that the City is in a fiscal position to issue a bond,
I will call on the voters to approve this bond for our city’s future.”
Mayor Diossa concluded his speech by thanking
the resilient tax payers for their commitment to the City.
“It has been a long, difficult road. Thank you
for your strength and perseverance during the most difficult times. Thank you
for supporting and believing in the broadness of our vision and the height of