By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Plainville Town Council hosted a public hearing on Thursday, March 8, to discuss and hear comments on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2019.
The total budget for the town is $60,056,058, which represents an increase of $1,530,867 or 2.62 percent. $37,322,912 will be allocated to the Board of Education, $17,533,146 will be utilized by the Town Government, $4,400,000 has been set aside for debt services, and $800,000 will be for capital improvements.
“If not for the Health Insurance rate increases, the overall budget would have been $80,481, or 0.15 percent,” said Town Manager, Robert Lee. These numbers refer to the changes for the proposed expenditures, which increased by 5.13 percent for the BOE and 1.88 percent for the Town Government.
“There seems to be a little bit of a misperception with regards to the operation of this Health Insurance budget,” said Lee. “It is a town-operated health insurance we provide to the employees. We use a consultant, Lockton, to give us advice with regards to what they are recommending our rates to be for the next year, and we have budgeted half of what they recommended as an increase.”
Plainville resident, John Kisluk, was present during the Tuesday, March 1, meeting in which the budget was originally shared and during that meeting, said that he wasn’t too disappointed by the budget. During the March 8 meeting, he said “there’s always room for you do to a little chopping.”
“I realize that you’re stuck with this health insurance and what the state did to us,” said Kisluk. “But, one other thing this Council has got going for them, you see the amount of people here today from the public. Probably half of the people in this town don’t even know what’s going on, and the other half of that half won’t even come out and vote, so you’re at an advantage to pass whatever you present.”
Kisluk also suggested that the BOE try putting contracts out to bid, in order to secure vendors at more manageable costs.
“I’d just like to say, all things considered, I think it’s a well-prepared budget so far,” said citizen, Lou Frangos. “Circumstances are what they are, I think it’s well done.”
The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 19, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.