OS Budget Heads to BOF
At a public hearing on March 7, Old Saybrook residents received a presentation on the current status of the proposed town budget. The Board of Finance (BOF) will now deliberate on the proposal.
The initial proposed budget for Old Saybrook calls for a total proposed budget of 50,276,744, a 1,899,041 or 3.90% percent increase. The total budget is made up of a town budget and an education budget. The proposed education budget is $ 28,829,506, a $ $1,356,165 or a 4.90% percent increase. The proposed town budget is $ 21,447,238 a$ $542,876 or a 2.60% percent increase.
With the public hearing now out of the way, the BOF has control of the budget and can make alterations to it. Finance Director Lee Ann Palladino said last month that the BOF will deliberate on the budget and make final recommendations, if any, at either their March 21 or April 4 meeting.
The Public Hearing
The hearing featured a presentation about the town and education budgets, followed by a period for members of the public to weigh in.
During the public hearing, First Selectman Carl Fortuna presented the town budget and stated that under the current proposed budget, the mill rate would increase by .38 mills.
Fortuna said the mill rate increase is an average or even slightly below average increase over the last 20 years. Fortuna said that inflation has affected the proposed budget as well as things like state mandates and the state budget.
During a presentation on the education component of the budget, which was pre-taped and played on a projection screen during the meeting, Superintendent of School Jan Perruccio said that increases in certified staff costs, medical benefits, supplies, and maintenance were among the largest drivers of change in the education budget.
The public sparsely attended the meeting, and only two people asked questions when it came time for public input. One person inquired about the amount of money the education budget allocates toward tuition reimbursement for teachers and also opined that the police department budget was too high. Another person asked that the town spend more money on infrastructure needs like sewers and paving instead of on tourism initiatives.