The fiscal condition of the city of Providence is on the mend. That was the word from Mayor Angel Taveras as he gave his second ‘State of the City’ address. A lot has changed in a year.
Last year, Providence was a city in peril. It was $22 million in the hole and some predicted bankruptcy was inevitable. But a year later things are looking up, Mayor Angel Taveras told the City Council in his ‘state of the city ‘ address.
"Today it is my privilege to deliver a much more hopeful report on the State of our City: Providence is recovering."
Taveras says pension reform and so-called payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements with the city’s non profits have put Providence on the path to financial sustainability. But the city, he cautions, is not out of the woods yet.
"We have survived the worst of our fiscal storm but we must remain vigilant. Just weeks ago, Moody’s Investor Service said several years of year-end deficits have left our city “with little room for error in the event of future operating pressures.”
But, he cautioned, the city’s reserves have been depleted and jobs have been slow to return to the capital city.
"As with the national recovery, Providence’s recovery is slow. But we are headed in the right direction and there are clear signs of hope on the horizon. Though Providence’s unemployment rate is still unacceptably high, today we have the most Providence residents working since 2008. Four years after the burst of the housing bubble, foreclosure filings are finally going down in our city."
Taveras committed himself to using the second half of his first term to attract economic development, improve schools, reduce crime and support the arts.
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