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Providence mayor looks to land water deal, universal pre-K

December 28, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says negotiating a deal for the city’s water supply board and creating a universal pre-kindergarten program are his top two priorities as he moves into his second term.

Elorza tells WPRI-TV that leasing the Providence Water Supply Board could quell long-term financial problems. The city has about $1 billion in owed retiree liabilities. Elorza says the board, which is valued at about $400 million, could be leased or sold to help with the pension fund.

Critics have questioned the water system’s ownership and details of the proposal. Elorza says he needs to “do a better job” explaining the potential deal.

Elorza estimates a pre-K program could cost up to $12 million annually. Providence school officials say the district could experience a budget shortfall by 2023.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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