A $3 million budget increase over the current fiscal year is in the works in New Milford.

Mayor Pat Murphy presented a $95.68 million budget proposal Tuesday for fiscal year 2013-14.

The proposed budget would represent a 2.1 percent increase fom 2012-13.

It would include tax relief of $500,000 from unassigned funds and $250,000 from the town's Internal Service Fund.

The $95.68 million figure would change the town's mill rate from 25.57 mills to 25.90 mills, equating to a tax of $2,590 on every $100,000 of assessed value on a home.

"This budget is just the beginning of our process where, together, we craft a budget that the public finds acceptable to maintain our wonderful community," Mayor Murphy said.

More Information

New Milford joint budget meeting dates
Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
March 4 at 7:30 p.m.
March 5 at 7:30 p.m.
March 6 at 7:30 p.m.
*meetings held in E. Paul Martin Room on the second floor at Town Hall

The town's portion of the budget is proposed to be $35,951,914.

The Board of Education's budget request was cut $480,000 by the mayor to a proposed $59,734,148.

Relief of $125,000 from the Internal Service Fund is proposed, as was $30,000 from pension contributions.

Board of Education Chairwoman Wendy Faulenbach agreed with the mayor that the budgets as proposed are just the beginning of a process.

"I look forward to the dialogue both on the board and town side to hold onto as many programs, staff and services as we can," Mrs. Faulenbach said. "We will continue to have conversations with residents to reinforce the needs of the school district."

The mayor is recommending several personnel changes.

She would like to add two additional school resource officers and eliminate positions in other departments, as well as reduce hours for some employees.

Specific positions were not named Tuesday. The mayor plans to give specific details as each department affected is reviewed.

A rise in health care costs is reflected in a 10.2 percent increase in overall health care expenses budgeted by the mayor.

"Final numbers on pension contributions were not available when we prepared this budget so they remain flat," the mayor said.

"The clean water monies being negotiated with the state are not yet in the debt column but they will have an offset revenue in the waste-water treatment department," Mayor Murphy added.

The joint meetings of the Town Council and Board of Finance will resume Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. in the E. Paul Martin Room in Town Hall.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322