BRIDGEPORT — A handful of city officials won’t travel to the Dominican Republic this Sunday to celebrate Bridgeport’s donation of two decommissioned fire trucks.
That means the full city council will vote Monday on potential cuts to Mayor Bill Finch’s proposed $24 million tax hike.
The planned trip had city council leadership scrambling last week to organize an early vote on the mayor’s budget because councilwomen Michelle Lyons, Leticia Colon and Lydia Martinez had planned to fly down Sunday.
Initially, they believed Finch would accompany them on the trip, which was spearheaded in part by the Rev. Simon Castillo, a city police commissioner and head of the Good Shepherd Christian Church on Hancock Avenue.
Finch’s office said last week that the mayor would not go, but that Police Chief Joseph Gaudett would instead represent Bridgeport.
The firetrucks arrived in the Dominican Republic about two months ago, Castillo says. Reached for comment Wednesday, Castillo said he did not know when the ceremony would now take place. He’s still flying down Sunday to spend a week working with an orphanage in the city of Bonao.
Meanwhile, the council will vote on proposed cuts to Finch’s budget at its 7 p.m. meeting Monday.
The council’s budget and appropriations committee has been meeting for several weeks with department heads. After its final meeting tonight with the Registrar of Voters and Legislative Services, committee members will pick out potential cuts to send to the full council.
Finch’s proposed $518 million budget represents a $24 million increase that would raise the mill rate by 2.7 and the median homeowners’ tax bill by $424.