Borough budget heading to hearing

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The Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses approved a $111.4 million 2013-14 budget proposal Monday night to send to a public hearing. –LUKE MARSHALL
The Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses approved a $111.4 million 2013-14 budget proposal Monday night to send to a public hearing. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Borough officials have backed a $111.4 million budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses approved the proposal Monday night to send to a public hearing. The hearing will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hill Middle School.

The $111.4 million proposal is an increase of $3.8 million, or 3.54 percent, over the current budget. The budget is projected to raise the mill rate to 45.26 mills, up from the current rate of 33.55 mills. The projected mill rate means taxpayers will pay $45.26 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

The proposal is based on the current level of state funding the borough receives. The state has not yet approved its budget.

The reason for the large jump in the mill rate was the recent revaluation that caused property values to drop on average 26 percent.

Controller Wayne McAllister pointed out if the revaluation had not taken place the budget proposal would have put the mill rate at 34.84, an increase of 1.29 mills.

The municipal budget is about $51.8 million, which is an increase of $2.3 million, or 4.67 percent, over last year’s budget.
Officials trimmed the municipal budget proposal by about $800,000 Monday night to reach the $51.8 million figure.

Among the items removed was $66,000 for a school resource officer position at City Hill Middle School. The position was listed under the police department’s budget.

The boards also removed two SUVs, at a cost of $58,850, the police department had requested under the reserve fund.

Burgess Robert Neth recommended the boards cut the SUVs from the budget. He felt the police department’s fleet was up to date enough and removing the two new vehicles would not make much of an impact.

The boards also removed $95,000 from the purchase of a large plow truck from the reserve fund. Rather pay the full price of $150,000 for the truck at once, the boards felt it would be wise to purchase the truck over three years.

The proposed Board of Education’s budget is approximately $59.6 million, which is an increase of $1.5 million, or 2.58 percent, over the current budget. The joint boards approved the school budget without discussion.

The school budget includes approximately $200,000 in security upgrades and funds for two new teachers and four paraprofessionals for special education.

Following the public hearing on Monday, the joint boards will meet May 16 to adopt the budget. Residents have two weeks after the budget is adopted to force a referendum on it through a petition.