Chicopee City Council approves mayor’s proposed budget, $1.25 million diverted from schools

Chicopee City Council approves mayor's proposed budget, $1.25 million diverted from schools
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 11:50 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -The Chicopee City Council voted to approve the mayor’s budget Thursday night. $1.25 million is not going to Chicopee Public Schools. The funds are being diverted.

The Chicopee School District department presented why they needed the $1.25 million. But, councilors did not see a justifiable reason why they needed the extra money.

“I mean it was a justifiable outcome. i understand we have extra money this school year. There’s been a promise from the city council from the mayor from day one, if we need extra money actually we can come to them. and ask for any type needed of money,” said Alvin Morton, Interim Chicopee Superintendent.

Morton reacted to the Chicopee City Council not giving Chicopee schools an extra $1.25 million dollars in funding. The council Thursday night did not have a clear idea of what the money would be spent on and why the school needs it. Morton said the district has money that was not used during COVID.

“We have extra money because of grant money, because of COVID, we have extra money because we’re able to have prior-year money because of COVID money and grant money,” Morton said.

One Chicopee Comprehensive High School teacher believes the district needs it.

“Although I do understand they have to service people like me who are taxpayers. The 55, 56-thousand people in the city would get 21 dollars back from that money. $1.25 million,” said teacher Gina Potorski-Daho.

The Mayor of Chicopee, John Vieau, said otherwise about taxing residents more.

“You have to have a balance between what we’re taxing our residents and what we’re spending. And I couldn’t in good faith tax the residents another $1.25 million knowing that they didn’t use the money from last year and also the prior year,” said Mayor Vieau.

The council did note that if the school district needed more funding next year for programs or services, they would likely approve it if the district outlined the need for it.