Hartford City Council Approves Debt Payoff

The state will pay off Hartford's millions of dollars of debt under the new budget deal. 

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the city council passed a resolution authorizing the city to enter into a contract assistance agreement with the state on Monday. 

“Our primary mission over the last two years has been to put Hartford on a sustainable fiscal path, without faking it or doing things that might buy time but make the problem worse down the road,” Bronin said. "We cut tens of millions of dollars in spending, negotiated dramatic savings with our labor unions, and secured a commitment from our biggest employers to be part of a comprehensive solution."

Lawmakers from both parties signed off on the state providing assistance to the Capitol city in the state budget that was approved October 2017. Last week, the framework was presented to the city council for approval and the vote took place on Monday night. 

Under the proposed framework, the state would pay the city's $550 million in debt over the next two decades. Since the deal was approved by April 1, the state will pay the city's $11 million debt payment. The state may give the city an additional $24 million to close Hartford's budget deficit.

While the state would pick up the annual debt payments, Hartford would still be required to pay $5 million annually for Dunkin' Donuts until 2021. 

The city expects to refinance that debt at the direction of the State to ensure that the annual debt payments do not exceed $40 million, Bronin said in a statement on Monday.

The state is looking to refinance Hartford's debt by stretching the city's debt payments farther apart in order to reduce annual contributions. 

In exchange for the extra funds, Hartford was placed under state oversight in January.

That oversight board will review budgets, contracts and labor agreements. Hartford also can't issue new bonds without the group's permission.

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