Stonington — Following a digital public listening to on Thursday, the Board of Finance authorised a proposed 2021-22 funds that requires a 0.49 mill tax price enhance.
The $73.1 million funds and 23.85 mill tax price will now go to an April 19 city assembly, which might be adopted by a referendum vote.
Board of Finance Chairman Tim O’Brien opened the listening to by saying the board tried to conduct the funds course of in essentially the most clear and public approach doable. He praised city division heads for his or her exemplary displays, which defined the wants of every division.
“We actually listened to what the wants of the city are and never simply the desires of the city,” he mentioned.
Declaring the powerful instances with the COVID-19 pandemic, he mentioned the board would have appreciated to have finished extra with the funds however the aim is to all the time not have a big influence on taxpayers. He added that, regardless of the “making an attempt instances,” the city’s tax assortment price stays very excessive. He additionally defined that the greater than $4.three million slated to return to the city from the American Rescue Plan shouldn’t be figured into the funds.
In the course of the lower than 30-minute listening to, O’Brien mentioned the board obtained 25 letters from individuals urging the board to retain funding for the Mystic & Noank Library. The proposed funds requires city funding for the library to stay at $111,500.
He additionally learn a letter from former First Selectman Rob Simmons, who urged the board to completely fund a $40,400 place to rent a group outreach specialist for the Human Providers Division to assist deal with a big enhance in requests for help with points resembling home violence and psychological well being. Simmons mentioned the influence of the pandemic has created an unprecedented state of affairs that will not go away quickly. That place remained within the funds and might be partially offset by provides from Selectwomen June Strunk and Deborah Downie to present again $10,000 every of their salaries.
Resident Rick Newton additionally urged the board to fund a local weather change resiliency fund and create a full-time place that might take care of local weather, environmental and flood plan points. Neither was funded.
The board made no adjustments to the funds after the listening to.