'Strong' budget given the nod
Realizing the added expenses facing the town in the aftermath of last week's flooding, the New Milford Town Council kept spending in the 2011-12 budget in check this week.
The education budget was left at the mayor's recommendation of $57.2 million, with no further reductions.
The combined municipal and education budget for 2011-12 to go forward to the Board of Finance was set at $91.6 million.
That amount would raise the town's tax rate from 22.7 to 24.74 mills, or a 9.8 percent increase.
Finance director Ray Jankowski clarified, however, the increased mill rate would not equate to a similar tax increase for individual homeowners.
The recent revaluation that saw an 8 percent reduction in single-family home assessments needs to be considered.
"I think the council really reviewed the budget proposal well," Mayor Pat Murphy said. "They took into consideration the impact on services of the recent flood damage, supported education spending and produced a strong budget, all in a non-partisan manner."
The mayor also was "glad to see the $30,000 returned for the Economic Development Corporation" after she had "reluctantly" cut the additional seed money request in her budget proposal.
Council member Cecilia Buck-Taylor was also pleased to see economic development funding restored Wednesday.
"I was hopeful not much would change from our discussions during the presentation last week," Ms. Buck-Taylor said.
"The financial software that was included will make Ray Jankowski's life and future audits easier," she said. "The $30,000 was needed for economic development... if revenues are going to increase."