FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The budget that Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau presented at the joint Board of Selectmen and Finance meeting Tuesday night reflects an economy still struggling from the recession.
At the first meeting of the joint budget committee, Tetreau put forward a town budget for 2014-15 year of $286,715,615. The budget, which includes spending for the school district, public safety and town departments, represents an increase of 2.67 percent over the 2013-14 budget.
"Overall, I have reduced department requests by $3,863,421," Tetreau said in his presentation to the boards. That makes for a total proposed town budget of $87,083,476.
Even with the cuts, there will be "no significant reduction in essential services" to residents, either in public safety or in social services, he said.
The Board of Education proposal represents nearly 55 percent of the total budget, at $156,218,051. That is $800,000 less than what the Board of Education presented to Tetreau. He is recommending the cuts come from:
- $200,000 due to decreased pension contribution.
- $200,000 due to lower electricity costs.
- $400,000 for school board to find savings from other areas.
The budget also includes several new hires on the town side:
- Health Department – three part-time employees to meet state mandates for care of students.
- Finance Department – one part-time position to address auditor recommendation.
- IT Department – half year of full-time position to support Network and new phone system project.
The budget will likely require a tax increase in the nbew fiscal year, Tetreau said. Part of the reason is because of the "minimal growth" in the Grand List at 0.41 percent, he said.