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Menino seeks $60m spending increase

Mayor Thomas M. Menino will unveil a $2.4 billion budget plan Wednesday that would boost city spending by 2.5 percent, an increase that essentially keeps pace with rising costs.

The proposal, which would go into effect July 1, represents a $60 million rise from the current budget and marks the second consecutive year since the recession that city workers have not faced the possibility of widespread layoffs.

But as Boston and the nation continue to recover from the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression, resources will remain tight.

Menino is not expected to announce major new initiatives when he formally presents his spending plan to the City Council.


The broad outlines of the budget were described in paperwork filed Monday in the city clerk's office, which included select highlights of the plan.

Over the next few months, the City Council will hold dozens of hearings to dissect the proposal.

In a letter to the council, Menino wrote that his budget would expand neighborhood watch programs; add police officers and firefighters; and allot more money for crosswalks, sidewalks, and tree trimming. It also includes resources for a new e-reader lending initiative at the Boston Public Library and enhancements to the street sweeping program.

Menino wrote that the city must "find the best way to leverage still-scarce resources.''

"We are perhaps the strongest city in the nation right now: Our finances are stable; our economy is growing; our neighborhoods are vibrant,'' Menino wrote.

The proposed budget "supports what got us here and pushes us to go further.''

Andrew Ryan can be reached at acryan@globe.com Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.