WILTON — The budget process in Wilton is nearing a close. The Board of Finance is meeting tonight to set the FY2021 budget and the FY2021 mill rate.

At a meeting on May 14, the board tentatively proposed a flat (zero increase) for the Board of Education budget ($82,344,563), and a 2-percent decrease for the town budget ($32,831,959).

If approved, the mill rate would be 27.4343, a 3.87-percent reduction.

The proposed budget also includes $3 million in reserves or $1.8 million more than in the current year’s budget. “These reserves allow the budget to be flexible and responsive to what we might encounter during FY2021,” according to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice.

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However, the tentatively proposed budget numbers may change.

Since May 14, the Board of Selectmen has taken another look at its budget for more potential savings, and is now recommending an additional $300,000 cut in anticipation of savings in town employee medical benefits costs.

Before the pandemic hit, the selectmen were considering a move to the State Partnership Plan for medical benefits, which would allow for savings by the town and most town employees. That effort was initially disrupted by the pandemic, but Vanderslice reports the efforts are now underway again.

“When and if the town begins to enjoy those medical savings, some portion of previously discussed and unpopular reductions, including those to the Transfer Station, the library and the Teen Center, may no longer be necessary,” she said.

With the Annual Town Meeting canceled this year in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Board of Selectmen charged the finance board with adopting the town and school budgets.

The finance board is meeting tonight at 7:20 p.m., following an executive session about pending litigation. The board has additional meetings set for June 2 and June 3, if it does not conclude budget deliberations tonight. The meetings are being live streamed from a link on the town’s website.

pgay@wiltonbulletin.com