Selectmen propose 3.5% municipal budget increase

The Board of Selectmen submitted its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015 to the Board of Finance Friday, March 7. By a unanimous vote, the four selectmen approved an operating and capital budget request of $32,105,267 for the fiscal year.

The proposed budget would represent a 3.5% increase over Fiscal Year 2014.

Per the selectman’s proposition, the operating expenditure budget would increase by 2% — from $30.2 million to $30.8 million —  and the operating capital budget would increase 60.9% — from $700,000 to $1.3 million.

Snow was a major factor in the operating expenditure increase, as costs related to replenishing salt and sand inventories pushed that increase from “a very lean” 1.84% to 2%, a  letter released by the office of First Selectman Bill Brennan said.

The letter also indicated the large increase in capital budgeting was due to budget reductions in Fiscal Year 2014. Operating capital budgets in Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 had fallen by 26.15% and 32.9% respectively, compared to the previous year’s budget.

Capital projects

According to the first selectman’s letter, four proposals for municipal project bonds will be subject to votes by the community at this year’s Annual Town Meeting. Bonded capital funds for those project will total $10.4285 million.

Mr. Brennan’s office says these projects will include:

• “Long overdue funding requirements to renovate Comstock Community Center”

• “... replacement of a 20-year old fire engine”

• “... phase II of our successful road restoration program”

• “... the final two-year phase of the Ambler Farm White House renovation.”

Miller-Driscoll renovation

The selectmen’s letter also says a capital plan related to the Miller-Driscoll renovation capital project will be presented at a special town meeting on Sept. 23.

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See Thursday’s Wilton Bulletin for a more comprehensive look at Wilton’s FY 2015 municipal budget.