To the editor:
The "Chicken Little" alarmist claims by our First Selectman and Superintendent of Schools that the sky is falling over North Haven due to Connecticut State funding, are false and misleading.
Although in the current fiscal year, we did see a $922,000 reduction in certain categories of state funding, we also gained an unexpected $1.4 million in MRSA funding (budgeted $0).
Therefore, the net gain in state aid is $500,000, even though the MRSA money can only be used for certain types of expenditures.
In past years, we always included MRSA money as a regular line item in our revenue budget, and in doing so, MRSA always helped to keep the mill rate in check.
It is deceptive for First Selectman Freda to say otherwise.
Moreover, the $1.4 million in MRSA funding that we will receive in June will be added to the $1.3 million MRSA balance, for a total of $2.7 million.
If North Haven files for a waiver to use MRSA money to fund specific capital improvement projects, then dollars can be freed up from the Public Works budget to cover other costs included in either the town-side or BOE budget.
Despite the $922,000 reduction in state aid to the North Haven General Fund, most of the reduction (95 percent) is on the town side of state aid.
Superintendent Cronin has confirmed that the BOE expects to receive all of the money for the 2017-2018 fiscal year that was approved in the 2017 budget referendum (specifically $51,648,899).
Consequently, the changes in state aid to North Haven had absolutely no effect on the BOE budget this fiscal year.
While we have no definitive information about state funding for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, our stockpile of MRSA funds will either remain at $2.7 million or grow.
Either way, the sky is not falling in North Haven.
Nancy E. V. Barrett MBANorth Haven