Selectmen to discuss budget changes Tuesday, welcome public comment
The Board of Selectmen will meet on Tuesday, April 28 at 3 p.m. to discuss possible budget modifications to its previously approved 2020-2021 budget.
The meeting follows a discussion by the Board of Finance Thursday saying the town is seeking to keep either the mill rate or the tax levy flat for next year due to economic hardship for businesses and residents as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Town Hall remains closed to the public but the meeting will be broadcast live on Darien TV 79.
Those wishing to submit written comments for the public record and public comment may send to DarienBOS@darient.gov no later than 3 p.m., April 27.
On April 14, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson emailed the Board of Finance, copying several other town officials, to formally request that the board endeavors “to limit this year’s mill rate to a 0% increase in light of the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves due to the COVID-19 crisis.”
“It has yet to be decided by our town bodies which of these programs, if not both, we will be offering and what the potential worst case scenario might be on cash flow. I believe we may not know the full extent of town revenue impacts until the end of the calendar year or beyond,” she said.
She added that she would be asking the Board of Selectmen to review the budget.
At the Board of Finance meeting, capital projects on the town side being bonded instead of being included in the operating budget were discussed. Those included sidewalks, conversion of the Noroton Fire Department to natural gas, and a Town Hall heating project.
The Board of Ed, which approved a 3.4% budget increase for the next fiscal year, also will seek to make some cuts to its budget in an effort to mitigate the tax impact to residents.
At a previous Board of Finance meeting, Chairman Jon Zagrodzky said Board of Ed Chairman Tara Ochman had told him her board would seek guidance from the finance board for trimming their budget.
To further lesson the tax impact on those residents and businesses struggling with economic burdens, the Board of Selectmen approved and Board of Finance endorsed a tax deferment program. It would apply to those who met Office of Policy Management guidelines and allow them to defer paying local taxes from the usual deadline for late fees, August, until Oct. 1.
To watch the meeting live, go to http://www.darienct.gov/tv79.