By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Town officials approved the FY 18 budget, which will now be up to the voters later this month.
During a meeting last Monday, the Town Council voted unanimously to approve and recommend a total budget of $58,525,194, which represents an increase of $882,731 or 1.53 percent over the current budget of $57,642,463.
The council also unanimously approved the Board of Education’s requested budget of $35,503,099, which reflects an increase of $678,732, or 1.95 percent. Major drivers of this budget increase include salaries and benefits, as well as health insurance and transportation.
The total proposed increase for the general government side of the budget is $203,999, or 0.89 percent. Major drivers of this increase include salaries and benefits.
Residents will vote on both the recommended general government and school budgets during the All-Day Budget Vote on Tuesday, April 25 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Plainville Firehouse.
A public hearing took place during the council meeting, where a handful of residents addressed town officials about the recommended budget for next fiscal year.
Plainville resident Christopher Robertson expressed his concern about the impact of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed FY 18 budget, which shifts over $400 million in teacher pension costs to municipalities.
Under Malloy’s proposal, Plainville could end up contributing $1,927,428 in FY 18 to the Teacher’s Retirement Fund.
“We’re all going to have to work together,” said Robertson, noting that town officials should not be blamed if taxes increase. “We have no control over what’s about to hit our state.”
Resident David Spencer told the council to have a “wait and see” approach to the budget, given the uncertainty that remains with the state budget.
“We have to go very slowly this time around. There’s too much unknown out there,” said Spencer, urging the Council to back off any budget increases. “A good part of the legislature is not addressing the systemic problems in the Connecticut budget, and now…they’re trying to pawn it off on the towns.”
Resident John Kisluk spoke out against the Board of Education budget, urging the Council to look at some of the salaries. He also noted that the town is “getting hit in every direction,” especially with the current budget challenges at the state level.
“We have to look to the future,” said Kisluk. “We can’t keep going like this.”
“Take it easy on the people,” added resident Joanne Edman when addressing the Council about the recommended budget. “It’s just a little too much.”
For more information about the proposed budget, visit the town of Plainville’s website, www. plainvillect.com/. Copies of the budget are available at the Town Clerk’s office during regular business hours.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com