NEW MILFORD — Town department heads could soon have a new incentive to find ways to save operating budget money over the course of the year.

Mayor David Gronbach has proposed creating incentive funds that would transfer unspent operating budget money into special funds to be used for capital improvement projects. The money would stay within each department - with public works savings going to public works projects, for example.

The proposal will be considered at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Under the proposal, departments would still have to go to the Town Council to approve individual spending projects funded by the accounts.

“There would be multiple layers of oversight,” Gronbach said.

Gronbach suggests public works, the police department and parks and recreation would have these incentive funds. He said all three department heads seem to support the idea.

“They have the largest departments and capital projects,” he said.

He was inspired by the Board of Education, which uses a fund to collect savings from the school year. The money can then be spent on capital projects or to cover unexpected operating costs.

Gronbach said the fund has encouraged school officials to save money, and he hopes to see similar savings on the town side, as well as promote more efficiency.

He said he’s unsure of other towns using these types of funds outside of the schools.

“I like to think of it as an innovative program to encourage savings,” Gronbach said. He also hopes it will ease pressures on future budgets.

kkoerting@newstimes.com; 203-731-3345; @kkoerting