Low oil price won't affect budgets

Falling oil prices won’t benefit Wilton’s budgets until July 1, town officials tell The Bulletin, because contracts for different fuels are locked in for fiscal year 2015.

According to the schools’ director of financial planning, Ken Post, and the town’s chief financial officer, Sandra Dennies, low gas prices have “no impact” on budgets, because the town locks in “our diesel and heating oil prices while we are developing the following year’s budget,” Mr. Post said.

Of course, as the budget process begins for fiscal year 2015, the town has a chance to lock in rates based on current prices.

Each year, Wilton’s schools use approximately 110,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and anywhere from 190,000 to 250,000 gallons of heating fuel, depending on the severity of the winter.

On the other hand, the municipal government used 45,917 gallons of diesel, 46,252 gallons of gasoline, and 47,878 gallons of heating fuel last year.

For 2015, the schools’ diesel prices were locked at $3.10, and heating fuel prices were locked at $3.08 per gallon.

The town’s heating fuel prices ranged from $3.092 to $3.142 per gallon, depending on the size of the delivery.

The introduction of natural gas as the main heating fuel at Wilton schools will “hopefully” begin at the high school “soon,” Mr. Post said, a move that could save the town a significant amount of money. Cider Mill and Middlebrook should be converted by next summer.

“When oil prices were a little higher, we had estimates that we would save well over $200,000 per year,” Mr. Post said.