Mayor Sarno talked about budget cuts with Trump Administration official

Mayor was particularly concerned about elimination of funding for block grants

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno spoke with a representative from the Trump Administration on Wednesday, over his concerns about the President’s proposed federal budget. Sarno and the heads of city departments had a conversation with William Kirkland, who is Trump’s Special Assistant and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Sarno has publicly expressed concerns about the elimination of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, as proposed under Trump’s budget. According to a news release from Sarno’s office, about 10% of the city and school department’s more than $600M budget comes from federal funding, with nearly $4 million coming from CDBG funds.

Mayor Sarno said cuts to the CDBG, which provides critical funding for affordable housing and anti-poverty programs, could be devastating. He told 22News, “It would be very difficult, to nearly impossible to replicate those programs without that money. If we were to take a complete clean out hit, which would be well over 10% of my overall budget, you’re getting down to the bare bones.”

Sarno was among 50 mayors invited to participate in a conference call to talk about infrastructure.

President Trump’s proposed budget includes spending increases for defense and the Department of Homeland Security, but includes major cuts in other areas, ranging from the Labor Department to the Environmental Protection Agency to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.