Voters consent to school, town budgets

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

Residents of the town of Plainville passed both the town general government and Board of Education budgets in a referendum vote on April 24.

For the Town budget, 71 percent of voters (383 people) voted in favor. For the BOE, 60 percent of voters (324 people) voted in favor.

A total of five percent of registered voters came out on Tuesday to cast their votes. Though the turnout is small, town officials feel this is a sign of a non-controversial budget.

“Generally a low voter turnout is an indication that the public accepts the budget we’ve presented,” said Town Manager Robert Lee. He explained that comparatively, in Berlin, just one town over, around 70 percent of voters came out to either support or object to the referendum.

“I certainly feel the referendum results are very good,” said Lee. “With that behind us, we will move towards setting the mill rate.”

Town Council chair Kathy Pugliese (R) said she is pleased that residents support the budget and financial plans as presented.

“I think they understand we did the best we could while facing ongoing uncertainty related to the state,” she said. “I believe if residents were against it and were unpleased with the budget, we would have seen much greater numbers in voter turnout.”

Pugliese said the next step is for the council to set the mill rate, but they will hold off for several weeks in order to observe any changes that may occur with the state. When the council meets again in May, she said, they will discuss setting a date to set the mill rate for FY 2018-19.

“We are going to wait a little bit longer this year, with the realization that it’s still a very fluid situation in Hartford at this time,” she said. “We don’t want to jump the gun.”

Lee agreed, and said the state’s financial situation has been “very unpredictable.”

“I feel we should be in pretty good shape, but we will keep our fingers crossed and watch what happens in our state legislation,” he said. “In the meantime, we will stay optimistic.”