PLAINVILLE - Town Manager Robert E. Lee proposed a 2.62 percent town budget increase at a special meeting last Thursday.
“My goal for preparing the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget was by and large to try as much as possible to provide the current level of services, find opportunities to be more efficient and to look at the long run,” said Lee. “I wanted to avoid quick fixes that would lead to future issues and I wanted to be as clear and concise as possible while detailing the whole picture.”
Lee called for a budget of $60,056,058, an increase of $1,530,867 over last year’s budget.
This includes a Board of Education budget of $37,322,912, a town covernment budget of $17,533,146, $4,400,00 for debt service and $800,000 for capital projects.
The Board of Education budget increased by $1,819,916, or 5.13 percent. The town government budget increased by $323,345, or 1.88 percent. The debt service increased by $312,294, or 6.63 percent, and capital projects increased by $300,000, or 27.27 percent.
Lee said that, were it not for health insurance rate increases, the overall change in the budget would have been only $80,481, or 0.15 percent. The budget has increased by an average of 1.51 percent over the past eight years.
“I think that’s a pretty good record overall,” said Lee.
“We did a careful analysis of our spending and positions and found $330,000 in savings,” noted School Superintendent Maureen Brummett.
That means elimination of a technology education teacher and part-time psychologist at Plainville High School, as well as of the school system’s college and career center consultant. Those duties will be absorbed by school counselors and the college and career coordinator.
The board will also not fill positions of a retiring special education teacher and a retiring literary tutor at the Middle School of Plainville.
Linden Elementary School will lose an Open Choice tutor and a classroom teacher.
The elementary school wellness program will see three tutors and one paraprofessional eliminated.
If adopted as proposed, the tax rate increase would be 33.84 mills. That’s an increase of 0.41 mills or 1.24 percent.
Lee noted that the tax rate has increased by an average of 1.53 percent over the past six years.
The market value of an average home in Plainville is $175,000. Under the proposed tax rate, the owner of a home with that value will would pay $4,145 in local property taxes.
“We will have to make some negotiations with the unions on both the town and school side but I feel what is budgeted is where we could realistically end up,” said Lee.
A public hearing on Lee’s proposed budget will be held on Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Center’s Town Council Chambers.
The complete budget presentation can be found at plainvillect.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.