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The Middlefield Board of Finance’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes a reduction in the mill rate and a 4.5 percent reduction in spending.
This brings Middlefield’s mill rate to 32.23 and total municipal expenses to $4,864,085.
“Our grand list is in fact up. That’s good news. And the town expenses are down,” said Board of Finance Chairman Jim Irish.
Similar to Durham, Middlefield’s municipal budget represents about a quarter of the town’s spending, with education comprising the remainder.
“We think this is a budget that offers a responsible mill rate to our taxpayers while providing expenditures and funding that the town requires for its municipal expenses and the ability to meet the school allocation that the Board of Ed is requesting from us,” said Irish.
Selectman Robert Yamartino commented on the board’s “conservative approach” to the budget process. “This is a very challenging year that we have all been facing in municipal operations, in school operations,” he said. “I fully endorse this budget.”
Due to the pandemic, an Executive Order by Gov. Ned Lamont expressly requires municipalities to adopt budgets for Fiscal Year 2020/2021 without holding votes required by charter and without complying with any in-person budget adoption requirements.
In adopting budgets, the “budget-making authority” “shall thereby take all reasonable steps to publicize the draft municipal budget” and “receive public comment thereon, including but not limited to publishing draft budgets on the website and providing an email address or other means for the public to submit timely comments on the budget.”