Department heads asked about Wallingford budget in public hearing

Department heads asked about Wallingford budget in public hearing

Record-Journal
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FILE PHOTO -- Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. delivers the Mayor's State of the Town Address hosted by Masonicare at Ashlar Village in Wallingford, Friday, January 20, 2017. | Dave Zajac, Record-Journal

WALLINGFORD — About five residents asked questions about next year’s town budget at a public hearing on Thursday.

The public hearing allowed residents to ask department heads about their respective spending in the mayor’s $162.1 million budget proposal, released March 31. The mayor’s budget raises property taxes by 2.44 percent, or 0.68 mills. To offset an anticipated $5.8 million reduction in state aid, the mayor also designated $7.2 million from financial reserves in the budget. Some town councilors have noted it’s possible the full $7.2 million will not be spent next year, though.

Resident Bob Gross asked the mayor that, if the state gives Wallingford more aid than what’s expected, would he consider using the excess to lower the proposed mill rate.

“It’s impossible to answer a hypothetical like that,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said.

Dickinson said he believes it’s unlikely that Wallingford will receive more money than expected from the state. If that happened, Dickinson said he would have to “analyze all factors” before making a decision. The town will learn how much state aid it’s receiving long after the Town Council votes on a final budget in May.

Resident Donald Kennedy questioned public works officials about unspent money in the town’s capital nonrecurring fund. Kennedy asked why more than $1 million is allocated to the CNR fund in this budget if there is still unspent money available from past years. Public works Director Henry McCully said the unspent funds are earmarked for specific projects and can only be used for those projects under town ordinance, rather than new projects.

The Town Council will continue to discuss next year’s budget until May 9, when it’s expected to adopt a final budget.

mzabierek@record-journal.com 203-317-2279 Twitter: @MatthewZabierek


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