PLAINVILLE – The Town Council has set the date of the all day public vote on the 2018-2019 town budget for April 24.
The budget vote was set for April 24 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Plainville Fire House at 77 West Main St.
The total proposed town budget comes to $60,056,058, with $22,733,146 for general government and $37,322,912 for the Board of Education. This represents a 2.62 percent increase over last year’s budget.
Town Manager Robert E. Lee previously explained that the increase comes primarily from union mandated wage increases for town staff. The budget otherwise runs lean.
The issue of acquiring $75,000 in funding for a new fire truck, which was debated last meeting, will be handled at the May 7 town council meeting. A public hearing will be held at that time.
During public comment, resident Candice Hall said she wished that the fire truck was included in the budget.
Additionally, former Town Councilor Danny Carrier was presented with a town chair and recognized for his service to the community.
Kathy Pugliese said that Carrier “faithfully attended” aviation commission, economic development committee and capital projects building committee meetings and acted as liaison to the council.
“I thank you for everything you did for the community,” said Pugliese. “You are a very thoughtful and good natured person with a wonderful smile and I hope you continue to participate in town government. We need the new generation to come up and replace us as we go on to other exciting things in life.”
Carrier said his time serving on the council was a “great learning experience” and said that he now has a much clearer understanding of how tax dollars are spent. He also thanked the council for approving him joining the capital projects building committee.
The Council also approved the appropriation of $550,000 to the health insurance fund. Town Manager Robert E. Lee explained that the self-insurance fund has been running at a deficit of $2 million. This appropriation was the second of four planned installments from the unassigned fund balance intended to cover the deficit. This will leave the remaining fund balance at about $6 million.
Lee said that the town received a larger number of claims than expected last year. 21 claims exceeded $75,000.
“Claims continued to outpace expectations,” said Lee. “But state rates for insurance programs are much higher and we would have paid a lot more in the past 15 years had we been a part of that program. This was an unusual year and it came at a bad time due to municipal aid cuts.”
During the public hearing on the appropriation, resident Candice Hall said that she supports the town joining a state insurance program.
Resident John Kisluk said he understood why the appropriation was occurring and asked Lee for clarification of the amount remaining in the unassigned fund balance.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.