Petition calls for referendum on New London budget

New London - City residents submitted more than enough signatures to the city clerk's office on a petition to force the City Council to reconsider its authorization of the 2014-15 municipal budget and possibly send it to a referendum.

Acting City Clerk Dawn Currier said Thursday morning that her office verified 470 signatures on the petition forms. Petitioners needed to turn in at least 298 signatures, she said.

Last month, the City Council approved a general government budget of $44,030,106 and an education budget of $41,255,706 for a total city budget of $85,285,812. The 2014-15 budget represents an increase of $4,041,352, or 4.97 percent over the current budget.

In total, the city's $85.3 million budget will necessitate a tax rate of 38 mills, an increase of 10.5 mills.

The petition will be presented to the City Council at its next regular meeting.

The council has the option of reconsidering the budget and re-voting on an amended version. If the council does not vote, the budget will be submitted to residents at the next municipal election, or sooner if five councilors agree on a date.

- COLIN A. YOUNG

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