New Budget Update from Hartford

Finally some good news! The Speaker of the House was quoted in the Hartford Courant as stating that the Teachers’ Pension Cost transfer to the towns will not happen. This definitely counts as good news. It also means that we do not have to account for that $9 million expense in our budget.  My recommendation is that we use the reduction to restore some cuts and reduce the mill rate increase.

Based on this new information I recommend:

  1. Restoring the earlier $2 million reduction to the BOE budget
  2. Restoring the $300,000 reduction to the Fairfield Public Library budget
  3. Restoring $1,000,000 to Public Works for Paving
  4. Restoring $750,000 to Public Works for Major Equipment Purchase
  5. Reducing the budget by approximately $360,000 in expense reductions – adjustments that will come up during the BOS/BOF meetings
  6. Reducing the Supplemental Contribution to Surplus by $600,000
  7. Using the balance to reduce the Mill Rate increase to 2.2 percent

In this economic climate and with the negative State cuts, this is a very solid accomplishment.

I will keep working to see what other adjustments we can make. There is still a lot more discussion to take place with the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the RTM. These are my recommendations that I will propose to the Board of Selectmen next week.

We still have a long way to go. We will not have final budget numbers from the State until June or later, and we still have to keep an eye on next year. The State is struggling this year. Next year doesn’t look to be any better.

We have to keep Fairfield on a solid financial foundation. We have worked hard to fund our reserves and fund our long term liabilities (pension costs). We have maintained our infrastructure and we funded our Senior Tax Relief.  We are in better shape than most towns to weather this financial storm caused by the State.

Thank you for your time,