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CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera proposed her $20.4 million budget for FY 2024 Monday night.

The proposed budget, according to Rivera, addresses her administration’s key priorities, including affordable housing and building a new community center.

“It’s no surprise we’ve been recognized on local and national levels for our work over the last year – from our boots-on-the-ground effort to making our city healthier, to creative new housing solutions, to unique opportunities that empower our youth,” Rivera said. “This budget not only supports our necessary operations, services, and programs, but it compliments key federal and state dollars and grants we’ve proudly won that bring our beautiful vision for Central Falls.”

Rivera said her balanced budget focuses on ensuring the, “Central Falls of today works for every person that lives, works, and visits here. And moreover, that the Central Falls of tomorrow excels our economy and our future generations.”

The city is on track to add 200 new affordable housing units, according to Rivera, which is something she pledged to do during her first term.

The budget also invests in recreational spots across the city, including a basketball court, renovated parks and a new community garden. Rivera is most excited about El Centro, which will be a “one-stop community center” for residents.

El Centro will offer easy access to a wide-range of services for mental and behavioral health, housing and food security, and senior and youth services.

Rivera said violent crime is already down 25% this year. The mayor added a number safety investments in her budget, which include red light cameras, security cameras at city parks and body-worn cameras for police officers.

“Central Falls continues taking steps forward that better protect every resident,” she said.

Rivera also shared exciting investments on the horizon for the city’s school buildings.

“We’re finally going to be breaking ground on our new highly-anticipated high school this year, investing in the significant improvements at Calcutt Middle School and planning for amazing facilities upgrades at all other school buildings,” she said.

The budget proposal now heads to the Central Falls City Council for approval.

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