Since March, the Prospect Town Council has been working with the Mayor to prepare a budget for the Town of Prospect. We presented a budget which we felt was responsible and fair in addressing the needs of our citizens, while keeping in mind the cost of such needs. The public did not agree with all of our proposals, and as a result of two referenda, over $150,000 has since been cut from our town budget. These cuts were made in 50 different categories so that no one area was devastated, and no single service was eliminated.
One resident has charged that the Town Council is punishing the youth and the senior citizens of Prospect with the cuts made to the budget. The facts are that the council trimmed only $500 from youth activities in the summer fun week line item. In addition, close to $11,450 remains appropriated for community holiday observances including Memorial Day, Pumpkin Festival and the winter holiday season. In the commission on aging account, $2,000 was cut from capital improvements and $500 from the activity account. The commission on aging account still has a $6,600 increase over last year’s budget, which will allow the senior center to fully support its programs and services for our seniors.
The same resident also criticized the town council for “squeezing” our public service workers — police, fire, and public works employees. Once again, this is misinformation. The town council did cut $13,500 from the police budget, but no cuts were made to the fire department budget. Both of these accounts still show an increase over last year. While $13,000 was also deducted from the public works budget in response to the failed referenda, these reductions will not compromise the public’s safety. The public works reduction will, however, cause some inconvenience, since the recycling center will be closed for about five weeks during the winter months.
It’s difficult to refute in one letter all of the misinformation that has been communicated both in conversations and in written form. As a responsible voter, please make sure you are getting the facts. If you have questions, please seek your answers from reliable sources, rather than the rumor mill. All budget information is available online at townofprospect.org or in a hard copy form at the Prospect Town Hall. Also, please feel to contact us at the phone numbers or emails below for additional clarification.
We believe this town budget is fiscally responsible and fair to all municipal departments as well as Prospect’s citizens of all ages. Therefore, we encourage you to support this budget with your “yes” vote on Monday, June 10. All voting will take place at the firehouse from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Patricia Sullivan Geary
Theresa Cocchiola Graveline
Town Council members