Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer presented her $175.5 million operating budget to the Pittsfield City Council on Tuesday in what was the first budget hearing of the season. The proposed budget for the fiscal-year 2020 includes $63.5 million for city schools, as well as $25.4 million in health insurance for municipal employees, and $19.3 million for the police and fire departments. The total budget reflects an increase of 3 percent over the current fiscal year which ends June 30th.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that according to Mayor Tyer, the spending plan would maintain level services and, in some cases, restore cuts made in previous budgets. She told councilors during the session that making a budget entails tough decisions.

Councilors now will go through the proposed budget line by line over the course of several hearings in the coming weeks. The spending plan must be approved next month, with the new fiscal year beginning July 1st.

Councilors have also preliminarily approved the mayor’s five-year, $10.8 million capital improvement plan. That includes $2 million for a reconstruction of Tyler Street. It also includes a separate $1.2 million for construction at the troublesome intersection of Dalton and Woodlawn avenues and Tyler Street.

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