Council sets date for referendum

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ProspectBushPROSPECT — A proposed $7.3 million town budget for next year will head to a town meeting Thursday and then adjourn to referendum on May 20, town officials said.

If approved, the 2013-14 budget proposal would increase spending by 4.9 percent, or $341,090 over this year’s $6.98 million
The Town Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to bring the budget proposal to a machine vote from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 20 at the firehouse on New Haven Road.

An annual town meeting is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at Community School on Center Street; it then will adjourn to the machine vote, Town Clerk Carrie Anderson said.

Former Town Council member Dominick Mirabelle Jr. filed a petition to take the latest spending plan to referendum, but Anderson said it wasn’t required as the council voted to take it to a machine vote.

During a referendum April 29, voters shot down the previous plan by 66 votes, town officials said.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said the latest proposal could increase the current tax rate of 27.58 mills by under 1 mill.

He said he is waiting for Region 16 to make adjustments to the school plan after it was defeated in Tuesday’s referendum before he can give a better calculation. He also noted that state revenue is changing daily.

The town plan includes only municipal expenses, not Region 16, which serves Beacon Falls and Prospect schools.