Harvard Should Help, City Officials Argue
As Yale University agrees to offer up to $10.1 million to help New Haven with its budget crisis, Cambridge officials are calling upon Harvard to pay for more of the city services it receives.
On Monday, Yale announced it will grant $2.6 million to New Haven, including $1.16 million a year for the New Haven Fire Department, in an effort to share the cost of the city's public services.
Yale also promised to lend $7.5 million if the city could raise $22.5 million from other sources, the New York Times reported.
"We as Yale students use hundreds of city services and we don't pay anything," said Todd Edelman, a Yale undergraduate involved with organizations that urge Yale to expand its role in city affairs.
Similar calls are made upon Harvard to take greater responsibility in helping Cambridge to cover its own costs.
"Harvard's a good neighbor," said three-term City Councillor William H. Walsh, refering to Harvard's student community services groups like Phillips Brooks House Association. At the same time, however, Walsh said Harvard does not assume a fair share of Cambridge's expenses.
According to Cambridge mayor Alice K. Wolf, the City Council urged Harvard President Derek C. Bok at a dinner last week for more money for city day care, affordable housing and the fire department.
Although Harvard is an educational institution and does not have to pay taxes, it paid $969,170 this year in voluntary contributions to the city as part of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program.
Since Harvard relies on the Cambridge Fire Department, city officials have been trying to get Harvard to pay for its services.
"I think that's a very promising area for Harvard and Cambridge to work on," said Councillor Frank Duehay '55.
Officials said Cambridge will need additional funding from Harvard if Massachusetts defaults on its annual $40 million subsidy to the city because of the weakening state economy.
Before Cambridge goes to Harvard for assistance, officials said, the city will first try other means of raising revenue.