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Selectmen Begin the Budget Process, Part II

Here's the second half of yesterday's article. Today's contains budget information from seven additional town departments.

 

It's that time of year again when town officials begin formulating the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The Board of Selectmen have been meeting with department heads to get an overall picture of their budget needs for 2013-2014 which begins July 1, 2013.

Yesterday, Patch ran Part I of this article. .

As a side note, union contracts for clerical, public works and police employees expire in June. Salaries will remain the same until contract negotiations are complete.

This is an overall review of where supervisors see a need for increases as well as where they have decreases in their department. No numbers have been set in stone. The Board of Selectmen plans to finalize the budget at their February 6 meeting.

The Board of Finance plans to hold two budget meetings in the Green Room at Andrews Memorial Town Hall on Feb. 12 and Feb. 14, both at 7pm.  The Board of Education is presenting their budget to the public on Feb. 28 at the Rose Room in Town Hall at 7pm.

There will be plenty of opportunity for community comment at the upcoming budget public hearings.

Here are some highlights from the Board of Selectmen budget review meetings and minutes:

Tax Collector – Prices for printing the rate book and Quality Data (software) services have increased. E-Billing is not being utilized as much as other towns because of the additional fee (which does not go to the town). The budget decreased by $400. Tax Collector’s salary increased by 2 percent. First Selectman Willie Fritz reduced stationery and supplies by $100.

Town Hall Maintenance/Renovations – There was a request in this budget for the part time position to be a full time position. The full time position would be a 30 hour per week union position servicing the new Annex building, Youth & Family Services, Social Services and Public Works. Part time salaries would decrease by $7,500 and overtime would decrease by $4,800.

Building Department - Business is up 25 percent. A $1,800 software maintenance line item will be added to this budget. Salary increase is contractual. Remainder of the budget stayed the same.

Inland Wetlands – Fritz reduced repairs and maintenance by $50. Supervisor's salary increase is contractual. Remainder of the budget stayed the same.

Planning & Zoning – Postage decreased by $80. Fritz reduced education by $200 and repairs and maintenance by $50. Supervisor's salary increase is contractual.

Zoning Board of Appeals - Fritz decreased postage by $150 and repairs and maintenance by $50.

Human Services  - Clinton Social Services and Youth & Family Service Bureau have been consolidated into one budget. Transportation is now funded through grants. Consultant fees decreased by $800. Repairs and maintenance decreased by $450. A $5,000 line item was added to the budget for Social Services Discretionary Funds. Social Services part time assistant position was increased to 18 hours per week. The State Department of Education will contribute $7,000 towards salaries.

VIN CIMINO January 30, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Could Patch please provide a chart or list of actual budget numbers, the past year's along side the proposed? Who are these "supervisors" for Planning & Zoning and Inland Wetlands? No one supervises either. When did we acquire a new annex building? Who maintained Youth & Family Sevices, Social Services and Public Works this past year and in previous years? What is the increase requested to fund the new full-time union position? What are "Social Services Discretionary Funds" and why shouldn't a request of the Board of Finance not be required? Have we received a list of salaries of library employees (as required by recent Town Charter amendment) and, if so, could Patch please print it? What is the budget surplus for the past year for the town and the Board of Education?? Why shouldn't we have that information provided to us before voting on any proposed new budget?? Thank you.
Fay Abrahamsson (Editor) January 30, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Patch will provide as much budget information on the town of Clinton and the BOE for its voters as humanly possible. The process has just begun. To answer your first question, the proposed numbers are slated to be released on Feb. 6.
Alan Anderson January 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Vin, all you do is cry about money spent, usually with some justification. Maybe if you said a nice thing once in a while about costs reduced, several of which are pointed out inthis article, people would take you a little bit more seriously and you would not look like such a hater.
Vindaloo January 31, 2013 at 05:32 PM
The IWC is supervised by the WEO and the land use clerk. The commission, itself, is made up of volunteers and has a very small budget. .
Meg January 31, 2013 at 05:47 PM
In the past, Clinton put out the Annual Reports of the Town Officers of the Town of Clinton. The last one I found printed was in 2006. This 30+ page document was a wealth of knowledge which provided valuable information, such as: a yearly synopsis on general town governement initiatiaves; 5-year budget summaries, grand list figures, town department highlights, town employees' salaries and benefits packages, school budget histories, student standarized test scores, and our elected and appointed officials and terms. These are just a few of the topics that were covered in the Annual Town Report. The Report was a useful tool as one could acutally have past year(s) figures to review during budget season. I'm not sure if the Town continues with this practice as I can find no current Reports. If not, I would like to see this practice resume. It helps makes me a more informed taxpayer.
Vindaloo January 31, 2013 at 05:56 PM
The annual reports are still put out. You can pick up a copy at town hall. Last I looked, there was some on the table in the downstairs lobby.
VIN CIMINO February 26, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Could Patch please provide what the projected budget surpluses or deficits are for the town and the Board of Education? That information is very important in determining whether or not to vote for increased taxes.

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