It's that time of year again when Cheshire town officials begin discussing the town's operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Residents are urged to attend a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday (March 19) if you have any questions or want to express any concerns regarding Town Manager Sean Kimball's recent budget proposal. A complete calendar of operating budget meetings for the Town Council, all open to the public, are listed below.
Kimball has proposed an operating budget - $115.58 million - that would result in a rise to the mill rate at 33.65 mills compared to the current 32.62 rate, meaning an increase of $185 to taxes in town.
As is always the case, the bulk of the budget is for the Board of Education and for the upcoming fiscal year the proposed education budget is at $74.3 million. Other items addressed in the budget include a contribution to teachers' retirement and the addition of four public safety dispatchers for the Cheshire Police Department.
Discussions among Town Councilors regarding Kimball's proposal began Thursday.
Operating Budget Schedule (Special Council Meetings):
Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. - Council Chambers Town Council Public Hearing
Tuesday, March 19, following Public Hearing – Room 207-209 Programmatic Budget Presentations: Administration & Finance, Employee Benefits, General Services, Planning, EDC
Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. - Room 207-209 Budget presentations: Public Safety (Fire, Police, Animal Control, Inspection Dept.); Social Services
Monday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. - Room 207-209 Budget presentations: Recreation, Pool, Public Health, Library, Artsplace
Tuesday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. - Council Chambers Budget presentations: Education
Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. - Room 207-209 Budget presentations: Town Clerk, Public Works/Parks, Water Pollution Control, Public Property
Monday, April 8, 7:00 p.m. - Room 207-209 Budget Review
Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m. - Town Council Regular Meeting]
Thursday, April 11, 7:00 p.m. - Council Chambers Public Information Session and Budget Review
Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. - Room 207-209 Budget Review
Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 p.m. -- Council Chambers Town Council Meeting for Adoption
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter for the New Haven Register for 34 years.