The city of Hartford is hoping a new legal team can help with their financial woes.
The city has hired the bankruptcy law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, to provide legal services as the city assesses its restructuring options to improve its fiscal health and long-term stability. Nancy A. Mitchell, one of the co-chairs for the firm’s restructuring practice, will lead the team. Mitchell has more than 30 years of experience in the field.
“Over the past eighteen months, we have made significant cuts and we continue to pursue aggressive changes in our labor contracts. We have also advocated for a State budget that puts our cities in a position to be strong and vibrant, for the sake of Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.
We will continue to work closely with our legislators as they work to adopt a responsible State budget. In the meantime, as we start a new fiscal year without a State budget and with significant uncertainty, we will have the advice and counsel of an experienced and highly respected restructuring firm,” said Mayor Luke Bronin in a statement.
Hartford’s current 2018 budget relies heavily on revenue from the state. The city started out with a $65 million deficit for the year, but eventually adopted a budget without tax increases.
However that plans is counting on $40 million in funding from the state level. State lawmakers have yet to agree on a budget as Connecticut faces a $5 billion deficit for the next two fiscal years.
“While we continue to be hopeful that the state government will adopt a budget which provides Hartford with the necessary funding to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of our residents, as responsible stewards, we must carefully review all options. In doing so, we will examine all available tools in a considered and thoughtful attempt to restructure city government working together as a team with our Mayor and administration,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II in a statement.
In the meantime, private companies have stepped up to sponsor events like the annual fireworks display at Riverfest. Several businesses, including United Technologies, are sponsoring the event. Without that support, the city would have most likely been forced to cancel the show, like they did last year.