Town Council to host a budget workshop tonight

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Monroe Town Hall is located at 7 Fan Hill Road.

No big changes to First Selectman Ken Kellogg’s $29.1 million municipal budget should be expected when the Town Council reviews the proposal for fiscal year 2020-21. The proposed spending increase is less than one percent.

The Town Council will embark on a series of budget workshops, starting tonight in the Town Hall annex at 6 p.m.

“I don’t see a reason to go line-item-by-line-item,” Town Councilman Kevin Reid said during last week’s meeting. “But there are some department heads we should hear from.”

“I agree for the most part, you’re looking at such a small increase,” said Councilman Jason Maur, adding he wants to hear what money is being spent on and the future plans of some departments.

Kellogg is proposing to spend $29,132,349 for town services, which is $174,848 or 0.6 percent more than the current budget.

Manjo’s mindset

Once the Town Council votes on the municipal budget, the entire town budget proposal, which is now $91.5 million, moves to the Board of Finance for its review.

While the Town Council can only act on municipal spending, the Board of Finance can make revisions to both the town and Board of Education budgets.

If the town budget were to pass as is, the tax rate would rise from 35.58 to a projected 36.51 mills for a 2.62 percent tax increase.

Kellogg cut the school board’s budget proposal by $500,000, paring it to $59,540,842, which is $2,294,102 or 4.01 percent more than the current fiscal year.

During a joint meeting with the Town Council and Board of Finance last week, finance board chairman Michael Manjos shared his thoughts on the current proposal.

“The town side is as light as I’ve seen it,” he said of the 0.6 percent increase in municipal spending. “I don’t expect to dive into many line item details. We’re just going to look at the big ticket items.”

Manjos said his board is familiar with the drivers spurring the increase in the Board of Education budget, such as special education, health insurance and payroll.

“I don’t want to say it’s not needed, but it’s a big increase on the Board of Education side, almost $2.3 million,” Manjos said.

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