PLAINVILLE – The town is looking at a further reduction in state aid by more than $870,000 after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently announced “holdbacks” to municipalities.
The reductions announced Friday are part of more than $880 million in spending cuts mandated by the General Assembly.
Plainville’s total reduction in state aid now totals $1.9 million with a $1.8 million reduction in the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant.
“We were really blindsided,” said state Rep. William Petit. “There had been agreement when the bipartisan budget was made, everyone’s intent was to maintain as much ECS and municipal funding as possible.”
Petit spoke to the Town Council Monday night and said he is hoping for another session to potentially prevent the deep reductions.
The Town Council formed a committee of four councilors during the meeting to look over options to regain lost revenue.
Town Manager Robert Lee said the current loss of revenue represents 1.38 mills which is equivalent to a 4.2 percent tax increase.
Lee said the council can look at adjusting the tax levy for the Jan. 2 half of the tax bill. Another option the council can look at is to reduce spending, such as not filling town positions or delaying capital improvement items.
“Any reduction of the education budget could not exceed the loss in the ECS for Plainville,” Lee said.
The ECS reduction represents 96 percent of the loss in revenue for Plainville.
Another option will be to consider using the unassigned fund balance.
The council will meet soon to discuss possible action before the annual council and education board joint budget meeting set for Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. at the library.