Virtual budget hearings set as Monroe’s Covid-19 cases climb to 32

This picture of the coronavirus was posted on the Centers for Disease Control's Facebook page.

MONROE, CT — The total number of Monroe’s positive COVID-19 cases grew to 32, according to the latest statistics from the Connecticut Department of Public Health. First Selectman Ken Kellogg says townspeople should expect more laboratory confirmed cases as overall testing increases in the state.

“As many families are celebrating holidays, please remember that we must continue to keep each other safe,” he said in an update Thursday evening. “This pandemic requires us to not only change our routines, but also find ways to modify our deeply held traditions. Please find ways to connect with both your faith and your family while practicing social distancing.”

As of Thursday night, there were 9,784 positive cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut, with 4,882 in Fairfield County.

Of Monroe’s 32 positive cases, 10 are people in their 60s, seven are in their 50s, there are four each in their 20s, 30s and 40s, and three are in their 70s.

Previously, Monroe had 23 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. In an update given hours before the latest numbers were released, Kellogg said, “we have confirmed with the State that the new cases reported to us in the last couple of days come from a wide testing date range — anywhere from 3-10 days ago.”

The first selectman continues to post updated counts on the town websitealong with a summary of cases by age group.

Kellogg also reminded residents that, while Monroe’s emergency responders are always there for them, they should remember 911 is for true emergencies.

“In particular, our volunteer firefighters have been experiencing an increase in neighbors calling in brush fires, which are later determined to be small, controlled campfires or burning of sticks from yard clean up, all in accordance with a permit issued by the Office of the Fire Marshal,” he said.

Budget update

Earlier in the week, the Town Council adopted a resolution to comply with the governor’s exective orders compelling it to authorize the Board of Finance to approve the final town budget and set the mill rate, rather than having voters go to the polls for a referendum this year.

Kellogg said at least one remote electronic referendum would be held no later than May 20, adding a final budget will be posted on the town website and a summary will be published no later than May 27.

During a budget workshop Thursday night, the Board of Finance decided to have two remote electronic public hearings. One on April 23 and another on May 14. On May 14, the board will vote to finalize the budget proposal.

After that, there will be ample opportunity for the public to submit written comments on the budget proposal, then to speak one more time during a virtual town meeting to be held sometime between June 2 and 5.

At that meeting, the Board of Finance will vote to adopt a budget and set the mill rate.

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