CHESHIRE — The Town Council found out late last month that during the past year pension expenditures went over budget by about $170,000.
“Unfortunately, as our actuaries completed their review of the experience … there were multiple things that worked against us,” Town Manager Sean Kimball said during the April 22 Town Council meeting. “We had actually hoped that we had conservative numbers in our estimates. But ultimately what happened was that there’s been a down market, which means our investments weren’t quite as high (as we had hoped).”
“There’s about $170,000 additional (contributions) that are (needed) for next year’s budget,” added Financial Director Jim Jaskot.
Other factors driving the expenses are rate of death and rate of retirement, Jaskot said.
“Generally the projections that I work with are on the conservative side, and I was kind of surprised to learn that those variables were working against us this go-around,” Jaskot said.
Kimball also told the council there was an increase in revenue for the building department, which he credits to strong local development and household projects.
“We had budgeted to receive $500,000 (from the building department) for this year based on years prior, but nine months in we are already at $558,000,” Kimball said. “We’ve had a lot of permits coming in, which continues to remain very strong for us. We feel comfortable with moving that number up to about $625,000 if the council feels comfortable.”
Councilor Don Walsh asked Kimball if the town had increased any building fees in the past year, to which Kimball said “no.”
In another move that was expected, the council decided to extend its deadline to approve an operating budget past the normal April 30 date.
Gov. Ned Lamont had issued an order allowing municipalities to extend the deadline to as late as the end of June.
Town Councilors decided not to extend it that far, and set the new date for approval at May 28.