PLAINVILLE - The Town Council has formed a committee to assess how to make up state aid cuts.
The committee will consist of Republican Councilors Kathy Pugliese and Deb Tompkins and Democratic Councilors Rosemary Morante and Chris Wazorko. They are expected to meet in December.
Town Manager Robert E. Lee said that total cuts were increased last Friday and now total $1,904,005 including a $1,823,324 reduction in education cost sharing funds.
“This is a reduction of 1.38 mills which would require a 4.2 percent tax increase to make up,” said Lee.
Lee said the council has several options for how to approach the loss of funds. It could reduce education spending, adjust tax levels, take from the town’s unassigned fund balance or a combination of those. It could also not fill open positions that exist in the roads and buildings and grounds departments or fill the assistant director position at the library.
State Rep. William Petit Jr., R-Plainville, was then invited to the podium to discuss the state issue.
“We were blindsided by these cuts,” he said. “The agreement with the bipartisan budget was that we would attempt to retain as much ECS and municipal funding as possible. The governor has chosen to make state cuts more in line with his executive order, which we all fought against due to its draconian cuts to ECS.”
Petit said House Republicans will seek a special session to ensure that funding cuts are not as severe.
Town Council Chair Kathy Pugliese thanked Petit for his efforts but said the town is running out of time.
Lee also brought up the lawsuit that Waterbury initiated against pharmaceutical companies in response to the opioid crisis. Several communities had joined them.
Pugliese said she wants to have those who wrote the lawsuit explain what they are proposing and what it means for Plainville. She asked Lee to arrange this.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.