PLAINVILLE - Voters Tuesday approved the townâ€™s budget. 383 to 158. The Board of Education budget was also approved by a vote of 324 to 215.
The vote was held at the firehouse at 77 W. Main St. Residents cycled in and out of the polling place in the firehouse at 77 W. Main St throughout the day, with many seniors preferring to cast their vote early while younger residents waited until after work.
Mary Lou Fernandez said she supported the budget.
â€śI think that they did the best job that they could,â€ť she said.
Robert Kennedy said that he supported the budget for town government but not for the Board of Education.
â€śWeâ€™re going down in enrollment, but costs keep going up,â€ť he said. â€śThe town is doing their part to bring down costs for citizens. Iâ€™m all for educating kids, but I think the Board of Education budget is a little out of control for a town of 20,000 people.â€ť
The total proposed budget comes to $60,056,058, with $22,733,146 for general government and $37,322,912 for the Board of Education.
The budget also includes $4,400,000 for debt service and $800,000 for capital projects.
The education budget increased by $1,819,916, or 5.13 percent, while the town government budget increased by $323,345, or 1.88 percent. The debt service increased by $312,294, or 6.63 percent, and capital projects increased by $300,000, or 27.27 percent.
Town Manager Robert E. Lee has previously explained that the increase to the town government budget comes primarily from union-mandated wage increases for town staff. The budget otherwise runs lean. Were it not for health insurance rate increases, the overall change in the budget would have been $80,481, or 0.15 percent.
During a public hearing on the budget, Andrea Saunders, chairwoman of the Board of Education, said â€śnot one board memberâ€ť was happy with the 5.13 percent increase.
â€ś3.7 percent of that number is due to health insurance increases that are obligated by the unions,â€ť she said.
The proposal calls for a tax rate of 33.84 mills. Thatâ€™s an increase of 0.41 mills, or 1.24 percent. The budget has increased by an average of 1.51 percent over the past eight years.
â€śThe market value of an average home in Plainville is $175, 000,â€ť said Lee at a previous council meeting. â€śUnder the proposed tax rate, the owner of a home with that value will would pay $4,145 in local property taxes.â€ť
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.