Budget on tap Monday night for Town Council

The Stratford Town Council is expected to vote on Monday night for a proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
How much it may change from the current $220.3-million proposal presented by Mayor John Harkins, however, is still unclear.
The council’s Ordinance Committee, comprised of all 10 Town Council members, will host a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall to review the proposed $220.3-million spending plan as well as the proposed tax rate of 39.93 mills.
The Council will then meet at 8 p.m. A vote on the proposed budget is on the agenda.
Several people, including MOVEStratford leader Henry Bruce, say the school district should not receive any increase from the $106.8-million outlay it received for the current fiscal year.
The Board of Ed has hired an attorney to select an auditor who will find an auditing firm to review the past three Board of Ed budgets.
School district supporters, including teachers, students and building principals, have backed Council Chairman Beth Daponte’s recommendation of a 2.75% schools budget increase.
That proposal would give the Board of Ed a $2.93 million hike.
In a letter to fellow Council members sent two weeks ago, Daponte says a 2.65% increase is needed to “keep the status quo” with the Board of Ed, while a .1% increase would allow the district to maintain compliance with mandates regarding the English Language Learners program.
Unlike in previous years, the Town Council did not host budget workshops before last week’s Ordinance Committee budget hearings.

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