MONROE, CT — Town Council members unanimously approved a $32.1 million municipal budget to fund town services in fiscal year 2023-24 at their meeting Monday night. The changes lower the projected tax increase for the overall town budget from 2.58 to 2.48 percent.
Now the roughly $99.8 million town budget, which includes education spending, heads to the Board of Finance, which can revise it before sending it to voters at a May 2 referendum.
Council Chairman Jonathan Formichella noted that First Selectman Ken Kellogg’s budget proposal had bipartisan support, evidenced by the council’s unanimous vote.
“That result is a testament to the hard work, ingenuity and fiscal discipline of our first selectman, finance department and municipal department leaders,” he said in a statement Tuesday.”
“Every Monroe family and business knows the cost of everyday goods and services are increasing,” Formichella said. “The town faces the same reality. I am proud of the municipal side of the budget and know how those rising costs were addressed.”
On Monday night, the Town Council adopted changes recommended by the first selectman to reduce funding for fuel by $89,414 and increase the line item for Aquarion Water Co.’s water distribution system for fire hydrants by $11,194.
The revisions were based upon new information since Kellogg was statutorily required to submit his budget proposal.
Kellogg told the Town Council that Monroe joined other municipalities in locking in lower fuel prices, which resulted in a lower increase with savings of $89,414 across the board. Meanwhile, Aquarion’s rate came in $11,194 higher than town officials had budgeted for.
Formichella said this lowered operating expenses to $31,289,602 in the municipal budget proposal, which is $32,103,469 with contingencies and appropriations (excluding the Board of Education).
On Monday, the Town Council unanimously approved a motion for the entire amount. Formichella said no other motions were made that night.