Ledyard - Members of the Town Council are expected to vote tonight on a $49.1 million 2012-13 proposed town budget, which as it stands carries no increase in the tax rate.
On Monday, the town's Finance Committee reduced - through a combination of shared town and school revenues and expenditures - Mayor John Rodolico's proposed $49,216,041 budget to $49,169,552 - a $46,489 reduction.
"People keep saying you can't keep doing it (coming in with no tax increase)," Rodolico said Tuesday. "My philosophy is that with good management, you can in fact make any budget work, and I think we've been successful in doing that; and one of the reasons is because we have been somewhat conservative in budgeting for long-term capital needs, so we don't get surprise."
Before the Finance Committee made the cuts, Rodolico's original budget proposal carried a 0.28 mill increase. "I'd rather the taxpayer hold on to that money, because in reality you're never more than a year away from asking them for more," Rodolico said.
Also Monday, Rodolico's recommendation to move the police station from Ledyard Center to Gales Ferry was eliminated.
Under that plan the police would move into a portion of the former Gales Ferry School. The move was estimated at a cost of $75,000 - $25,000 from the town's tax levy and $50,000 from the sale a town-owned piece of land to CVS.
"The mayor sent us an e-mail earlier today … I know it's really out of our hands, I know the town is looking at options and the viability of repairs versus building new," police Lt. Michael Finkelstein said Tuesday. "He asked for our input of what it would take to get into the building, we gave it to him and now we're told they don't want to fund it. We're waiting to see what the next step from the town is."
The Town Council is expected to set a budget public hearing for April 19 at 7 p.m., at the high school. The town meeting is scheduled for May 21 at 7 p.m., at the high school.
The town meeting will adjourn to a referendum the following day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.