Last night the Branford Board of Finance trimmed $1,319,834 off of the resulting a total recommendation of $96,634,680, which is a 3.18 percent increase over last year’s budget. The proposed mill rate would be 24.98, which is .71 mills more than last year or 2.93 percent higher. Students of will set the mill rate later in budget season at Youth in Government Day.
The recommended budget was set at $50,835,804, which is a 2.5 percent increase over last year. The was 3 percent. Following the meeting last night, BOE Chairman Frank Carrano and appeared to be pleased with the numbers. Carrano commented to the Branford Eagle that the total was “not so bad.”
One of the biggest changes to the requested budget was a 2.5 percent salary increase for all fulltime, non-union, town employees – the requested increase was 2.9 percent. Board of Finance member Jennifer Aniskovich suggested an amendment for the increase to be 2 percent rather than 2.5 but the amendment did not pass when , the ex officio member of of the BOF voted against the amendment, which was in a stalemate.
Later in the meeting, Aniskovich also suggested an amendment to add $200,000 to contingency for at . This amendment was also split among the board members leaving DaRos to make the final call. He voted against the amendment stating that BOF Chairman Joseph Mooney had already asked the BOE to come back with a sound proofing plan that had some researched numbers and plans attached to it at the April BOF meeting.
After seeing her second attempt at an amendment fail, Aniskovich began voicing her opposition to some requests by voting against items, however, instead of amendments, she made comments on the record as recommendations to the Representative Town Meeting. The RTM is next in line to work through the budget to make further recommendations before adopting the final numbers mid-May. The budget total will not be any higher than the recommended number from the BOF.
Check back for a more details on the final BOF recommended budget when it becomes available from later this week.
After hearing the final recommendation totals, DaRos addressed the group stating first to the Board of Finance, “I’ll say that you guys kicked the can a little bit down the road, which are business decisions that you make.” He furthered, “Coming up, the RTM is going to be making political decisions and they are going to have to stand up and defend what they do and I am looking forward to those hearings and hopefully we can keep this budget relatively intact.”
Following hours and hours of hearings to reach their final recommendation, Mooney said, “We do recognize that we have some differences in opinion here on the board level but I think everyone was very professional and I appreciate their input and know deep down wants the best for Branford.”