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Budget up slightly at $4.3M

WILTON — Bonds for improvements to the town’s infrastructure are the biggest expenses on the warrant this year, with requests for funds to renovate and expand the fire station, repair sewer lines and complete road reconstruction topping the list. Residents will have the opportunity to go over the finalized budget and warrant at a budget hearing Saturday.

The proposed operating budget for the town is $4,311,789, a little less than 2 percent more than the approved 2012 budget of $4,303,583.

“So that is relatively flat, which is our goal,” wrote Budget Committee Secretary Dawn Tuomala in an email Wednesday.

Rising insurance rates, state retirement costs and heating oil, gas and diesel expenses are the main sources of the increases in the budget this year, according to Tuomala.

“When you look at the bottom line for the general government it is fair to say we have kept the costs down to the best of our ability,” Tuomala wrote. “The increases for the town this year definitely come in with the infrastructure upgrades and the bonds.”

Almost half of this year’s capital expenses are from warrant articles which propose the town enter in to two separate bonds. The first would pay for an addition and renovation to the existing portion of the fire station. The total cost of the project is approximately $1.7 million. Of that cost, $935,000 will be bonded and the remainder would be extracted from the Fire Department capital reserves.

A separate bond would require a $220,000 bond that will be paid for by the sewer users, and would not affect the tax rate. The funds would be used to repair sewer lines in the area of Maple Street, which were discovered to be damaged last year.

In addition to the Fire Department addition and renovations, another warrant article proposes to split a major cost between capital reserve funds and taxation: The cost to finish repairs on the Isaac Frye Highway near the Milford Town line is estimated to cost $120,000, with $60,000 coming out of capital reserve accounts, and $60,000 raised through taxation.

The Recycling Center is requesting $47,900 from capital reserves to pay for a shed, a compactor and a clamshell bucket.

The Police Department is requesting funds to purchase a new police cruiser for $38,400. Another article requests $15,000 for repairs at the town library.

The Budget Committee will present the finalized budget and warrant articles during a public hearing on the budget Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Town Hall Court Room.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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