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    Friday, August 19, 2022

    Committee proposes cuts, hikes to Montville budget

    Montville — A committee has spent two months — and met seven times — scrutinizing each line of the town's proposed $65,615,784 budget, and now has made its final recommendations for changes.

    The Town Council Finance Standing Committee is recommending approximately $275,000 in reductions and $590,000 in increases to Mayor Ronald McDaniel's proposed spending plan, which came in at only 1.45%, or $939,618, more than the town's current $64,676,166 budget.

    The tax rate is expected to decrease from 30.61 mills to 26.44 mills. Town Council Chairman Thomas McNally said that will help offset some of the tax increases property owners will see due to the revaluation done in 2021.

    The Town Council will choose to accept or reject the committee's recommendations, or make changes of its own, when it votes on the budget at its May 31 meeting.

    The council members who serve on the committee — Alfred Mandler, Timothy May and McNally — met for the final time Thursday at Town Hall in their review of each town department’s budget.

    "We're in a good position currently," McNally said of the committee's work.

    The committee's recommendations include cutting $75,000 from the proposed $275,000 budget for sand and salt for winter roads, $5,000 from the $40,000 community center maintenance budget and $5,000 from the proposed $20,000 public works equipment maintenance and repair budget.

    Increases include $50,000 for radio tower replacement on Cook Drive, $152,000 for carpet at Tyl Middle School and $2,000 each for Montville Little League and Montville Youth Football, which were not funded in the mayor’s proposal.

    “I used to coach both,” Mandler said, “and if we could give more, I would give more.” He believes the experiences and “the friendships the kids make and the parents make are invaluable."

    Some recommended increases will be offset by other sources of revenue, such as the $150,000 increase to the Board of Education budget unanimously approved Thursday, which will be offset by state funds for a net-zero impact on the budget.

    The budget is basically flat because a lot of American Rescue Plan Act pandemic relief money was used "for a lot of the stuff that would normally be in the budget,” McNally said.

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