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09/29/2023 04:48 PM

Deep River Electors Approve $792K in Appropriations


Town electors in Deep River approved over $792,000 in appropriations for various items at a special town meeting at the town hall on Sept. 27.

Electors approved approximately $490,000 for four items recommended by the Board of Finance at a meeting on Aug. 22, which includes $330,000 for a street sweeper, $100,000 for one woodchipper, $30,000 for self-contained breathing apparatus for the fire department, and $30,000 for the cost of apparatus insurance.

Also, from the same meeting came a $150,000 appropriation to the town’s road maintenance budget line to pay for additional paving on town roads, as explained by First Selectman Angus McDonald.

“We’ve got a very ambitious schedule for road paving this year, and this additional fund will get us a little bit further,” he said.

Electors approved an expenditure of exactly $152,197.95 to cover “an unanticipated expense” intended for special education-related needs for students at Deep River Elementary School. McDonald acknowledged that the town did not see the expense coming to the budget during its finalization this past summer.

Region 4 Superintendent Brian White told electors that for reasons of confidentiality related to HIPAA standards, the exact information on the programming could not be disclosed. He said that the expenditure was intended for “programming for students and something that we are legally obligated to provide for, and that’s the reason for the request.”

The last approved appropriation was $50,000 to supplement a $325,000 Urban Act Grant for new playground equipment at the elementary school, Plattwood Park, and Devitt Field.

All these appropriations will come from the town’s reserve fund, which saw an influx of additional “unanticipated revenues coming in from things like building permits, the ability to collect unpaid taxes from years past,” which will result in a surplus that will mark an “exceptional year” said McDonald.

“We’re going to have a surplus of about…for last year of about $700,000,” he said. “That does not come from any tax payments; they’re all from additional revenues that we could not have anticipated. The Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen are of the mind that with that money, we can supplement our reserve fund to get that back to the 12% or 13% that we want to be at, as well as pay for some capital expenditures that the town needs….We’ll still, at the end of all these expenditures, have more than enough money to supplement the reserve fund, to get us up to that 12% or 13%.”