COVID-19, The virus that has taken the US and locked it up like a safe.
Here in Fall River, we have 97 cases, 26 of those are recovered, and 71 remain active in treatment.
This week is the week that the experts said we would see the newest cases, and it could continue for ten days. Other states are seeing more cases than we are, but it may be that they began testing before we did. We are told that the state of Mass is about 10 behind other states in terms of how far the virus has gone on. But we are one of the states that are not being overrun with positive cases as yet. We are hoping that we have the supplies to hold us and that the state continues to send more PPE weekly.
Mayor Coogan and I have twice to talk about the cities budget and how we are getting along with short staff and minimal funds coming into the coffers.
Mayor Coogan told me that we have $7.4 million in our rainy day fund out of the $8.0 million we started when he took office. Coogan stated that we had a transfer from that account to the school department for money the city owed them. I did not ask what it was owed for but believe it was the balance of the New School money we had left to pay from last year.
The city has not been getting that big sum of money every month from the sale of recreational marijuana since being closed for the COVID-19 lockout. Coogan said he did get a small check from the MMJ dispensary Hope Heal Health but it was very small and not close to what was coming in each month. We asked Mayor Coogan if he was looking at spending the $7. He said that he hopes and plans to use the money that comes in from the State and Fed’s to plug gaps. Coogan does not know when e will see any of the money that the state said they were going to send cities. He stated that he has been talking to Lt. Gov Polito a number of times per week. Polito told the mayor that she knows the cities needs and Fall River will be getting help.
Fall River was in good shape as far as our saving account goes. The budget was made and Coogan is working in the next year’s budget now. This will change the look of the budget going forward with all the lost money from sales tax and meal tax as well as recreational marijuana tax which was over $100,000 per month. Fall River will need to find cuts and make big choices if we are to stay on a good footing.on everything.
Many people are concerned that the lost monies will mean a tax override and fee’s going up on everything. Taxpayers say that they will not stand for a 2.5 tax override or a tax hike. Most say they want to see staff cut at the top and stop giving raises. We should say that Coogan has not asked for or even talked about tax increase or over ides and has not been in office very long and has not said he is looking at raises or any fees. Money that we look to cut from the top.
Fall River has been kicked and punched enough, and we all hope that is we need to come up with