Stonington — Following a digital public listening to on Thursday, the Board of Finance authorized a proposed 2021-22 price range that requires a 0.49 mill tax fee enhance.
The $73.1 million price range and 23.85 mill tax fee will now go to an April 19 city assembly, which can be adopted by a referendum vote.
Board of Finance Chairman Tim O’Brien opened the listening to by saying the board tried to conduct the price range course of in essentially the most clear and public approach attainable. He praised city division heads for his or her exemplary shows, which defined the wants of every division.
“We actually listened to what the wants of the city are and never simply the needs of the city,” he mentioned.
Stating the powerful occasions with the COVID-19 pandemic, he mentioned the board would have favored to have performed extra with the price range however the purpose is to all the time not have a big influence on taxpayers. He added that, regardless of the “making an attempt occasions,” the city’s tax assortment fee stays very excessive. He additionally defined that the greater than $4.three million slated to return to the city from the American Rescue Plan just isn’t figured into the price range.
In the course of the lower than 30-minute listening to, O’Brien mentioned the board obtained 25 letters from folks urging the board to retain funding for the Mystic & Noank Library. The proposed price range requires city funding for the library to stay at $111,500.
He additionally learn a letter from former First Selectmen Rob Simmons, who urged the board to totally fund a $40,400 place to rent a neighborhood outreach specialist for the Human Providers Division to assist deal with a big enhance in requests for help with points similar to home violence and psychological well being. Simmons mentioned the influence of the pandemic has created an unprecedented state of affairs that will not go away quickly. That place remained within the price range and can be partially offset by presents from Selectwomen June Strunk and Deborah Downie to present again $10,000 every of their salaries.
Resident Rick Newton additionally urged the board to fund a local weather change resiliency fund and create a full-time place that might cope with local weather, environmental and flood plan points. Neither was funded.
The board made no modifications to the price range after the listening to.