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Update: Selectmen approve third budget proposal of year
WINSTED — Last night, Thursday, Aug. 9, the Board of Selectmen approved a proposed budget for fiscal 2012-2013.
The vote was along party lines, with Democrats Mayor Maryann Welcome, Selectmen Candy Perez, Jim DiVita, Michael Renzullo and George Closson all voting for the budget, while Republican Selectmen Glenn Albanesius and Ken Fracasso voted against the proposed budget, as they have done for the other previously proposed budgets put forth this year.
The unofficial proposed budget, as issued by town Finance Director Henry Centrella at the meeting, is $31,689,086.
Centrella said toward the end of the meeting that he needed more time to calculate an accurate budget number after the selectmen added several proposed cuts back into the budget.
He added that he would issue a final number on Friday morning, but he has not released it to the media as of this posting.
If Centrella’s number stands, it will mean a $956,563 increase over the previous fiscal year’s budget of $30,732,523.
At the meeting, Town Manager Dale Martin said $78,591 would be saved if four of the five unions representing town employees would agree to a new contract that makes town workers pay 15 percent of insurance premiums.
While union negotiations are still ongoing, the $78,591 in savings is a part of the proposed budget under the insurance changes line item.
During the meeting, DiVita made a motion to restore a recreation general labor line item for $45,751.25, which funds various positions in the recreation department, including lifeguards and camp counselors.
DiVita’s motion was approved by the board along party lines, 5-2.
The board also voted along party lines to restore some funding to various outside agencies, including Foothills Visiting Nurses, Beardsley and Memorial Library and the Chore Service.
However, the various outside agencies will still each have their funding cut by 10 percent.
Other line items that were allocated for projects and purchases — including funding for an engineering project for Holabird Avenue, street paving, purchase of a police cruiser, mower and roller — were all set to zero.
The selectmen once again voted along party lines to add $20,000 each to neighborhood stabilization and planning and zoning regulation update line items, which were both previously set to be cut to zero.
As part of the proposed budget, no municipal employees are set to be laid off.
The selectmen tentatively scheduled a town meeting to discuss the budget for Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Gilbert School.
As per town charter, residents can discuss and motion for cuts for the proposed budget, but they cannot motion to make additions to it.
A full article will be in the Friday, Aug. 17, edition of The Winsted Journal, with further updates online.