East Providence Well on Its Way to Fiscal Health

Mar 7, 2013

Central Avenue, East Providence, RI
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

The City of East Providence says there are just a few more details to button up before it waves good-bye to the Budget Commission that’s been overseeing city finances. A state-appointed finance officer will step in next.

The city has paid off its debt, closed a $7.2 million budget gap, renegotiated contracts with its schools and municipal workers, and the task now, is sealing a deal with the police and fire unions.

City Manager Peter Graczykowski,says that should be done by March 28th, when the state-appointed budget commission is expected to disband.  “You know I think the commission has done a lot of good work here in East Providence, but I think everybody is ready for the commission to turn over the government of the city back to the city council and the city manager.”

Besides the $7.2 million budget gap, East Providence owed millions to Bradley Hospital and had a public safety pension only 30 percent funded.

Much of that is fixed, says Graczykowski, thanks to sacrifices by city workers.  “By that I mean we had 20 percent cuts in all of the budgets in the school and the city side, so that’s a big part of it.”

Also, Graczykowski says, thanks to a $49 million settlement with Google, police and fire pensions are now 60 percent funded.

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