Weston passes budget with increase

Photo of Amanda Cuda
Weston Town Hall at 56 Norfield Road in Weston.

Weston Town Hall at 56 Norfield Road in Weston.

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WESTON — Town residents voted to pass all three components of the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget on Saturday, though First Selectman Christopher Spaulding said that voter turnout was only 5 percent.

Under the new budget, the mill rate will be 32.92, a 1.7 percent increase from the current one. Voting on the budget began April 24 and concluded Saturday.

Residents voted 242 to 139 in favor of the town operating budget; 219 to 161 in favor of the Board of Education operating budget and 245 to 135 in favor of the capital budget. The latter goes toward such items as buildings, roads and town vehicles.

Board of Finance chairman Steven Ezzes said a total of 381 ballots were cast, 39 by absentee.

Despite the relatively low turnout, Spaulding said he was grateful for everyone involved in the budgeting process.

“I am pleased with the results and want to thank all of those who participated in crafting the budget, those running the vote, as well as those who turned out to vote,” he said.

Earlier this year, the town’s Board of Finance voted to approve a gross budget totaling $75,696,158. Town officials said, factoring about $3 million in expected revenue, the “net” budget is actually $72,630,379.

The key aspects of the newly approved budget include $14,077,481 for the Board of Selectman — a 2.67 percent increase over the current budget — and $55,070,090 for the Board of Education, which represents a 1.68 percent increase over the current fiscal year.

The capital budget was $1,024,239, which represented a 0.32 percent increase from the current fiscal year.

Ezzes said this year’s small turnout was “consistent with prior years.”

The budget process always begins with a town meeting, and goes to machine voting if there isn’t a quorum at the meeting, which is typical. This year’s town meeting on the budget took place April 24.

“We have not had a quorum for an Annual Town Budget Meeting in a number of years,” Ezzes said.