Darien had a large surplus in its budget for fiscal year 2019.

At the recent Operations Planning Committee, John Zagrodzky, chairman of the town’s Board of Finance, said the budget for 2018-19 ended June 30 with a “significant surplus driven by a return of funds that we’re not using. We pulled out about $420,000 in funds that sat there for a long time.”

In addition, the Darien Board of Education came in with a surplus of $336,000, according to Zagrodzky.

He added that because of the surplus and generally good financial results, “we’re now up over 17 percent for the fund balance.”

“We are in extremely good shape with regard to town finances,” Zagrodzky said.

Community value statement

The town continues to work on creating a community value statement.

“The initiative to create a community value statement is really an attempt to have a short statement that really brings us all together, that ties us together under some common principles that when we do our work, we keep mindful of those general principles,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said.

She added that the community value statement would be “appropriately broad so that in theory, any of our goals and objectives would fit nicely into it. It’s certainly not intended to inhibit or limit the work of any board that’s in the town.”

Project updates

Weed Beach: Jeremy Ginsberg, director of Darien’s Planning & Zoning Department, said P&Z will handle referrals on the Weed Beach improvements, which are getting some outside funding. This will be going to the RTM on Oct. 22.

Pear Tree Point Beach: Once the plans are complete for the Pear Tree Point Beach renovation project, it will start going through the process of approval. This includes the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Architectural Review Board, and the Planning & Zoning Department, according to Ginsberg.

Paramedics

While Old Town Hall Homes (now called The Royle at Darien) is under construction, the Darien Fire Department has been hosting the town’s paramedics.

The paramedics formerly resided in that complex.

“We’re going to be very eager to make sure we get the paramedics back into their place as soon as we can,” First Selectman Stevenson said.

2020 celebration

In regard to the upcoming 2020 celebration for the town’s 200th anniversary, Stevenson said she is interested to find out what other organizations in Darien are also celebrating notable anniversaries.

Hirings, recognitions

 Board of Education Chairman Tara Ochman has been named to the Connecticut Advisory Council for School Administrator Professional Standards

 The Darien Board of Education hired Richard Rudl as its new director of finance and operations.

 Joanne Hennessy, who served as vice chairman of the RTM Rules Committee, has moved out of Darien. She will be replaced by Lois Schneider. Schneider is also RTM Moderator Seth Morton’s replacement at any meeting.

Hennessy was also chairman of the RTM Planning, Zoning, and Housing Committee. Amy Barsanti, who was previously vice chairman this committee, is now chairman.

State news: Restaurant, sales tax

State Rep. Terrie Wood, a Republican who represents the 141st District, which includes Rowayton and part of Darien, said the restaurant tax was increased to 7.35 percent and the sales tax remains at 6.35 percent.

Watch the full meeting on Darien TV79.

sfox@darientimes.com