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Ridgefield Board Of Finance Approves $130 Million Budget

The Ridgefield Board of Finance voted to approve the town budget. The next step is a town hearing and vote to approve it.
The Ridgefield Board of Finance voted to approve the town budget. The next step is a town hearing and vote to approve it. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – The town of Ridgefield will be asked to vote on a budget of $129.488 million as well as the proposed capital projects for the town.

The selectmen's budget was approved in a 3-2 vote of the Board of Finance on Tuesday night. But the Board of Selectmen will have to find another $60,000 to cut from its $32.3 million budget, which represents a 0.6 percent increase over last year.

A savings of $340,000 is also expected from a new health benefits contract.

“I think there is some room for additional savings potentially in insurance and turnover,” said finance board member Paul Sutherland, who proposed the additional $60,000 cut.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi questioned where and how the town would be able to make a cut, saying it would come from places where the town needs the money.

“It always seems like a big number when you go looking for it,” Chairman Dave Ulmer said.

A significant change occurred in the Ridgefield Public School budget. A savings of $629,699 in health care benefits combined with a $130,000 cut from the Board of Finance brought the budget down to $82.87 million, a year-over-year increase of 1.97 percent. The budget passed in a 4-1 vote.

This would allow the Board of Education to keep the two School Resource Officers and the other parts of the new security line item in its budget.

“I don’t think they’d have to touch on security or programs,” Finance Board Member Jessica Mancini said after proposing the cuts.

The finance members said they were generally impressed with how the Board of Education has kept its budget down over the last few years.

“I think a reduction of $130,000 is not extreme, and it’s something you all should be able to find,” Sutherland said.

The board also approved a mill rate increase of 1.95 percent, bringing next year’s mill rate to 22.32.

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