WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced that he is approving the recommendations of the Municipality Accountability Review Board to designate the City of West Haven as a Tier IV municipality.
By designating this, the state would have the greatest level of oversight into the municipality’s finances allowed under state law. The board’s recommendation to change the city’s designation was detailed in a report from April 14 and followed a 30-day period of public comment.
Gov. Lamont said he is approving the change due to the city’s strained fiscal condition, which he said is lacking adequate oversight by municipal leaders.
Gov. Lamont released the following statement:
“As detailed in the MARB report, there is an an obvious lack of fiscal controls in West Haven and it is necessary for the state to step in and provide the oversight and accountability that the residents of the town and the state deserve. This decision is a direct result of the fiscal mismanagement in the city that has gone on for too long. Taxpayers deserve to have confidence that their money is well spent, and the stringent oversight that a Tier IV designation provides will allow the state to provide the tools necessary to address this situation.”
The MARB, a state board established in 2017 to provide assistance to municipalities experiencing fiscal distress, designates towns into four tiers based on several factors: fund balance, bond rating, equalized mill rate, and levels of state aid. As a Tier IV municipality, MARB has approved powers in regard to budgets, transfers, contracts, debt, and labor contracts.