PLAINVILLE - The 2017-18 town budget passed overwhelmingly during Tuesdayâ€™s all-day budget vote.
Ultimately, the budget passed with 461 people in favor of the town budget and 182 people against, and 429 people in favor of the Board of Education budget and 213 people against.
The budget total is $58,525,194 with an estimated tax rate of 34.70 mills. General government expenses amount to $23,022,095, a 0.89 percent increase over last year.
The Board of Education budget total is $35,503,099, a 1.95 percent increase over last year. Town Manager Robert E. Lee has stated that the increase comes as a result of cuts to state aid and the governorâ€™s proposal to have municipalities pay for one third of teacher pension costs.
The all-day budget vote was held at the Plainville fire house and saw a steady stream of residents stopping in throughout the day. In total, 648 people voted, accounting for 5 percent voter turnout.
Catherine Sullivan and Diane Plant said that they voted in favor of the budget.
â€śWe need to support public education and the town,â€ť said Sullivan.
â€śI think the Town Council and the town manager are doing a good job and do their best for the town,â€ť said Plant. â€śIâ€™m going to trust them.â€ť
David Spencer and Robert Marquis voted against the budget.
â€śItâ€™s too high,â€ť said Marquis. â€śThis is the first one theyâ€™ve proposed so Iâ€™m sure they can find something to cut. The education costs are too high.â€ť
â€śThe Board of Education is out of control,â€ť said Spencer. â€śEvery year they want more and there was no attempt to rein in costs. We donâ€™t know what is going to happen with (Gov. Dannel) Malloy asking towns to pay for a third of pension costs. This is not the year to increase the budget.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s always good to know that weâ€™re doing the job that residents expect of us,â€ť said Town Council Chair Kathy Pugliese. â€śThere (is) still a lot of work to do however, and we wonâ€™t set the mill rate until we get more information from the state.â€ť
â€śIt was a very reasonable and modest increase and Iâ€™m not surprised that it passed,â€ť said Lee.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.