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Monday, April 23 News

Town Council unanimously approve $150 million budget

NEW CANAAN — The Town Council unanimously approved the town and school budget of $150,939,170.

“I just want to thank everybody that had a part in the budget,” said town Council member Steve Karl. “Every year we get a little better in terms of the information we get from the board of ed. And I want to thank you guys for all the work you do.”

The upcoming year’s budget is up 1.89 percent over last year’s and includes a $39,698,537 town operating budget and an $89,763,487 Board of Education budget.

Despite fears expressed in preceding public hearings, no additional money was cut from the school budget, up 2.45 percent over last year, as many had feared in the weeks leading up to the vote.

The total amount to be raised by taxes is up 2.08 percent, to $139,395,729. The Board of Finance will set the mill rate at its April 17 meeting.

The budget was passed without any discussion, though Vice Chairman Richard Townsend suggested creating a five year, Long Term Plan that would aid in the budgeting process.

“The purpose of the long term plan would be to provide all the town funded units with the opportunity to participate in setting the financial assumptions and goals for the town in the following five years,” Townsend said.

The plan would be the responsibility of the Board of Finance and would be completed by Sept. 15 each year. The boards of Selectmen, Education and Finance, as well as the Town Council, would be represented, as would the financial staff of both the town and the school.

The plan would factor in things like grand list value, Consumer Price Indexi, anticipated shifts in demographics, health insurance, space requirements and more, to develop projections of town financial statements.

Townsend said that he hopes the plan would help to ensure that “when we arrive at budget time next year we’re a little more prepared for that.”

justin .papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1; 203-842-2586

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