Borough school officials trim proposed spending plan

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education has trimmed the increase in its draft budget for 2019-20 and will look to continue to make reductions in the coming weeks.

At the end of a Feb. 28 budget workshop, the school budget proposal stood at $65.11 million, which is an increase of $3.11 million, or 5.03 percent, over the 2018-19 budget. The proposal has been reduced by $1.1 million since Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke presented it on Feb. 7.

The reductions to the proposal include $100,000 from the renegotiation of the student transportation contract, an additional $100,000 anticipated in savings from replacing retiring teachers with younger and lower-paid teachers, and $60,000 for removing a proposed new custodial position.

The budget still includes a new custodial manager position for $65,000. The position is intended to help organize custodial staff and to ensure work is being done where it is most needed.

Board member Glenn Connan he would be in favor of the position only if it was guaranteed to yield results, specifically at some of the district’s older buildings.

“You have a beautiful, brand new facility here (at Naugatuck High School), so it’s easy and you recognize when it is dirty. You want to keep it clean and put more pride in it. When you have a crappy building, it is accepted,” Connan said.

Locke said the board is still working to reduce the budget proposal in other areas, including potential reductions of $400,000 in capital projects and $500,000 in pension costs as proposed by Hooker & Holcombe, Inc., a financial analysis company.

The board is scheduled to present its budget to the Board of Finance on April 8.