Vote on Beacon Falls budget set for Thursday

4
5

BFTownHall2BEACON FALLS — Voters will get their say on Beacon Fall’s proposed 2013-14 municipal budget Thursday at a referendum.

Voting will take place at Laurel Ledge Elementary School on Highland Avenue from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The budget proposal is about $6.2 million, an increase of 3 percent, or $180,612 over this year’s $6 million budget. The town spending plan alone would raise the mill rate by less than .1 mills. The current mill rate is 31.1 mills or a tax rate of $31.10 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

The town plan is going to a referendum after a petition was filed by former First Selectman Susan Cable.

The referendum was originally scheduled for Wednesday following a public hearing on the budget May 22. The vote was moved to Thursday after concerns were raised whether Wednesday’s date would meet election rules governed by the Secretary of State’s office.

Referendums can be held no less than seven days after the date of a town meeting, according to state law. A town meeting on the Beacon Falls budget was held May 29.

First Selectman Gerard Smith said some questions were raised by members of the public whether Wednesday’s date satisfied the seven day rule. So, he said, the vote was changed to avoid any potential conflict.  

The municipal budget doesn’t include expenses for Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Region 16’s latest budget proposal of $38.58 million was rejected at a referendum May 30. The school board is holding a budget workshop Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls to review the school budget.

A detailed overview of the municipal budget is available on the town’s website.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I was not trying to analyze anything other then to suggest areas that the BOF will need to address so you get what you want, no tax increase. The easy answer might be to just adopt last year’s budget. Yes, there would have to be internal transfers to cover contractual increases (wages, health insurance, etc) as well as utility costs. Doing that every other line item in the budget would decrease to cover the increases. Net effect – reduced taxes.

    Let me ask, do you support building a new Library? Or are you willing to support upgrading our Town’s infrastructure like Town Roads? I can argue that both of these will actually add and enhance the Town’s opportunity for future economic growth resulting in offsetting the tax burden that you and I pay today (i.e. lowering the percentage of the bill that is ours).

    The bond package being discussed will “lower” your taxes through lower interest rates, but we need to pass this budget to make that happen. The new fire truck will affect insurance rates within the Town as a whole, lowering your expenses. To just say “stop the tax increases” only gives us short-term decreases at best. Sooner or later you have to invest to save.

  2. Dear Mr. Krenesky,

    I think you’re over analyzing. Today’s headline in the Rep-Am explains it all. “State Economy in Cellar – CT is the only State with negative growth over 2 years”. Between Region 16 and our BOF,each wants to increase spending by 3+ percent for a total increase in spending of approx. $1.5 million. Are you kidding me. Unless you’re a union employee, you’re probably losing ground. People are broke. Stop the tax increases, period.

  3. Town budget failed 327 to 281.

    Did it fail because people did not want a firetruck or to fix the firehouse roof?

    Is it possibly true that school age parents voted no because they think ‘seniors’ have been voting down the school budget and the Town budget gave seniors Local Option tax breaks worth thousands of dollars?

    Or was it because people do not understand why we would fund a library study for a possible $1.5 million building project, when our roads are falling apart and we owe thousands to previous underfunded projects (Depot Street, Streetscape, Blackberry Hill Rd, Rimmon Hill Sewer for example)?

    It is the Board of Finance’s responsibility to think this through and come to a conclusion on what to do next and meet the requirement to have tax bills in your mailbox by June 30th. They do not have an easy task, nor do they have an easy decision.

  4. Low voter turnout at noon. I assume this means that people are, at a minimum, satisfied that the budget is acceptable to them and there is no “major” issue to bring them out to vote for or against it.

    A low voter turnout also means that a few will dictate to the many and the result, pass or fail, may not be a true picture of how voters/taxpayers feel about Town finances.

    Hopefully we will not have to do this a second time.