West Springfield mayor’s budget calls for 8 more police officers

Reichelt not proposing tax increase

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt has released his proposed budget for 2018. 22News reviewed the budget, and the biggest takeaway for residents is that if it is approved as-is, there will not be an increase in taxes over the next fiscal year.

This would be the second straight year that Reichelt has not raised taxes for the whole city. The mayor said that the priorities of the budget are schools, infrastructure, and public safety. That includes adding eight more police officers to payroll, which could create a traffic division at the police department.

Reichelt said they were able to save money by evaluating whether positions really needed to be filled after someone retired or was promoted.

“A lot of times, we’re able to say well, we can absorb it through these positions, we can absorb it through other duties, or we can contract out, which is cheaper, and really without laying people off, it’s the one time we can slowly reduce our staff. Eighty percent of our budget is personnel,” Reichelt said.

The mayor is also expecting a significant amount in state aid, due to revenue growth. Last year, people noticed a small increase in residential taxes, but there was a decrease in commercial taxes.

There will be a public hearing on the proposal on May 15, following city council deliberations, beginning in June.