East Lyme voters approve budget

East Lyme — Voters at a referendum Thursday approved a 2017-18 budget of $70,827,806, or a 2.29 percent increase over the current year's budget.

The vote was 452 in favor and 133 opposed, according to First Selectman Mark Nickerson.

The budget consists of $46,568,609, or a 2.38 percent increase, for education, and $24,259,197, or a 2.1 percent increase, for town government, including general government, capital and debt service.

The Board of Finance estimated at a public hearing last month that the spending plan would bring a tax rate increase of 0.66 mills, but will officially set the tax rate at a later meeting.

The amount of state aid the town will receive is still uncertain, as the state has not yet approved a budget. In his revised budget proposal, released on Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing about a $9 million cut to East Lyme.

Nickerson said that if the town's state aid is cut, it could set up a second round of budgetary meetings and discussions.

At the April public hearing, local officials said options would include further reducing the budget, freezing the budget, increasing the tax rate, issuing supplemental tax bills or using funds in the undesignated fund balance. 

k.drelich@theday.com

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