PLAINVILLE – The public vote on the 2018-19 town budget has been set for Tuesday, April 24.
Residents can vote from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the fire station, 77 W. Main St., the Town Council announced Monday.
The total proposed budget comes to $60,056,058, $22,733,146 for general government and $37,322,912 for the Board of Education. It represents a 2.62 percent increase over last year’s budget.
Town Manager Robert E. Lee has said the increase comes primarily from union-mandated pay raises for town staff. The budget otherwise runs lean, he said.
The matter of acquiring $75,000 for a new fire truck, which was debated at the Town Council’s last meeting, will be handled at the May 7 council meeting, at which time a public hearing will be held.
At Monday’s meeting, former Town Councilor Danny Carrier was presented with a town chair and recognized for his service to the community.
Kathy Pugliese said that Carrier “faithfully attended” Aviation Commission, Economic Development Committee and Capital Projects Building Committee meetings and acted as liaison to the council.
Carrier said his time serving on the council had been a “great learning experience” and said that he now has a much clearer understanding of how tax dollars are spent.
The council also approved the appropriation of $550,000 to the health insurance fund. Lee said the self-insurance fund has been running at a deficit of $2 million.
This appropriation is the second of four planned installments from the unassigned fund balance intended to cover the deficit. It will leave the remaining fund balance at about $6 million.
Lee said that the town received a larger number of claims than expected last year. Twenty-one claims exceeded $75,000.
“Claims continued to outpace expectations,” said Lee. “But state rates for insurance programs are much higher and we would have paid a lot more in the past 15 years had we been a part of that program. This was an unusual year and it came at a bad time due to municipal aid cuts.”
During the public hearing on the appropriation, resident Candice Hall said that she supports the town’s joining a state insurance program.
Resident John Kisluk said he understood why the appropriation was occurring and asked for clarification of the amount in the unassigned fund balance.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.