First Selectman Steve Vavrek reduced the town budget proposal by $200,000 after the April 2 referendum defeat. Now the proposal stands at $80,317,583 with a 4.1% mill rate increase. Spending would go up by $1.7 million or 2.17%.
In his budget overview page of the proposal, Vavrek said, "This budget keeps us on the right track of fixing what needs to be fixed and addresses many issues that we have all ignored over the years. Our department heads are to be commended for their fiscal restraints while still addressing the many needs of the community.
"After numerous internal staff meetings, we have compromised additional services and equipment to bring this budget to the level that hopefully finds support with our elected officials and the voters of Monroe."
The revised copy of the budget proposal is posted on the town website (There is also a pdf copy with this article). Polls will be open for the second referendum on April 23 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and absentee ballots are available for those who cannot come out to vote that day.
In addition to its regular hours, The Town Clerk's Office at Monroe Town Hall will be open for absentees on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.
This referendum will have two ballots, one for the budget proposal and another for a $3.8 million bonding appropriation for Honeywell's energy efficiency projects for Monroe's public school buildings. The Town Council scheduled a public information meeting on Honeywell for 7 p.m. on April 22 at town hall so voters' questions can be answered before the referendum the next day.
Revised Budget Numbers
The mill rate, which is used to calculate individual tax bills, would be 30.46 in the revised budget — an increase of 1.2 mills.
A mill is equal to one dollar of tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value. Individual property taxes can be calculated by multiplying your property assessment by the mill rate and dividing it by $1,000. Assessed value is 70% of fair market value.
The amount of the budget to be funded by property taxes would rise by $2,093,049 or 3.14%.
The municipal side of the budget would increase by $975,179 or 5.09% to $20,117,349. Vavrek says the main drivers are "insurance, pension, road repairs, equipment replacement, police and town hall renovations."
The $52,234,919 Board of Education operating budget represents an increase of $800,180 or 1.56%.
Debt service would increase by $145,514 to $5,731,542 or by 2.60%.
Reductions the first selectman made include:
- Town health insurances by $30,000
- Parks & Recreation Equipment and Wolfe Park improvements by $20,000
- Public Works Equipment by $10,000
- Town Building & Maintenance – Heat by $20,000
- Debt Service by $20,000