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Waterford Representative Town Meeting approves $97 million budget

Waterford — The Representative Town Meeting finalized a $97,005,544 budget last week, reducing the Board of Finance’s budget by about $400,000.

The RTM approved a general government budget of $34,560,086, a school budget of $50,645,471 and a capital expenditures and debt service fund of $11,799,987. Overall, it represents a $1,027,314 — or 1.07% — increase from the current $95,978,230 budget.

All told, between the finance board and the RTM, more than $650,000 was cut from the Board of Selectmen’s originally proposed budget.

Almost all of what was cut from the Board of Finance’s total comes from the school budget. Federal funding sent to the state to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for the Board of Education’s budget to be cut by $397,576. The school budget still will see a $273,155 increase, or 0.54%, over last year’s spending.

According to town Finance Director Kim Allen, the new budget's estimated mill rate is 27.64, which is a decrease of 0.23 mill from the current year's. The Board of Finance meets May 19 to officially set the mill rate.

As was the case with the finance board’s budget process, comments from the public revolved around money for the Nevins Cottage Restoration project. A flood of public support ultimately moved finance board members to agree to $100,000 for the historic preservation after considering allocating only $50,000. Town Clerk Dave Campo and First Selectman Rob Brule again spoke in support of its funding during the RTM budget hearings. 

The largest budgets for town departments include the police commission’s $6,421,688 and the public works department’s $4,709,654. The retirement commission was budgeted at $5,682,906.

s.spinella@theday.com

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