NEWINGTON -Elected officials are expected begin their 2018-19 budget deliberations next week.
The Town Council postponed several items during its last meeting, which was its first of the new year.
When they meet on Tuesday, Jan. 23, councilors are expected to address those issues and finalize their budget review schedule.
Town Manager Tanya Lane has been meeting with department heads over the last few weeks to discuss their needs in the areas of programming, staff, services and maintenance. Councilors expect to receive her preliminary funding allocations on Friday, March 2.
The first time residents will have an opportunity to share their thoughts on the town’s spending for the coming fiscal year will be at at a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, at 6 p.m.
Lane plans to present her budget before the hearing that evening, which will be followed by the council’s regular meeting.
Meanwhile, school officials are taking a first look at their own 2018-19 spending,. School Superintendent Bill Collins will present his budget to the Board of Education and the public Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.
Both bodies will meet together several times over the next few months to discuss their needs, since the school district’s funding usually makes up about 60 percent of the town’s budget.
Another area that accounts for a significant portion of spending is capital improvements, which include building projects. The Capital Improvements Committee is working on streamlining the next year’s priorities.
Town Councilor James Marocchini, a committee member, encouraged members of the public to attend the body’s meetings during this crucial time.
“If you have any thoughts on where you think you want to see money spent come on down,” he said.
Town officials will continue budget deliberations through the beginning of April, before setting a new property tax rate and adopting a budget.
The council is expected to set a date for the final budget hearing on Tuesday.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.