Budget referendum coming up  


BEACON FALLS — A referendum to vote on the town’s revised 2017-18 municipal budget proposal will be held June 20.

Voting will take place in the gym at Laurel Ledge Elementary School, 30 Highland Ave., from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The proposed town budget is $6.75 million, which increases town spending by $464,070, or 7.3 percent, over the current municipal budget. The town budget doesn’t include education spending for Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Region 16’s budget was approved in May.

Officials initially set the referendum for June 14 following a meeting to revise the budget proposal on June 5. The date was subsequently changed to June 20 because June 14 didn’t meet the required notice time under state statutes.

Town Clerk Len Greene said a referendum called by the Board of Selectmen can’t be held earlier than 13 days from when the legal notice is published. If a town meeting is adjourned to a referendum, he explained, the vote can’t be held any sooner than seven days, which is what the June 14 date was based on.

The new budget proposal spends $73,756 less than the town’s first proposal, which was voted down at a town meeting on May 31, and shaves the projected mill rate increase slightly. The 2017-18 mill rate is set to increase 3 mills to 35.9 mills due to increases in spending and revenue losses.

The majority of the increase in the mill rate comes from a loss of revenue due to a drop in the grand list from a recent revaluation of property.

Due to the revaluation, the town’s 2016 net grand list decreased $25.1 million, or 5.12 percent, to $464.4 million. A mill rate increase of 1.9 mills is needed to balance out the loss of revenue in the grand list.