For 2022-23, Greenwich’s operating budget, which covers the day-to-day operations of the town of more than 63,000 people, is $464,985,954. This budget is an increase of about 3.7% compared to last year's budget of $448.5 million.
Most of Greenwich’s budget is funded by local taxes, which amount for about $399.3 million this year. The town is projecting about $44.6 million additional revenue, including funding from the state and revenues generated by its departments, such as fees on building permits. The town also plans to use about $24 million in transfers from its fund balance for the budget.
Let’s take a look at how the budget breaks down by section in this town.
About 38% of Greenwich’s budget, or $177.2 million goes toward the school district.
In general, the education budget covers many areas, including: salaries and benefits for teachers, administrators, and staff; curriculum materials; support services in schools; special programs, such as career pathway programs for high schoolers; and athletic and extracurricular materials.
In Greenwich, some education highlights include:
- Adding special education positions to support students
- Increasing funding for school transportation costs
About 8.7% of Greenwich’s budget, or $40.5 million goes toward the town’s public safety efforts, which includes fire, police, and emergency responders
Generally, the public safety budget covers many areas, including: salaries for police officers, firefighters, administrators, and support staff; equipment, such as body cameras; training programs; emergency communications; and emergency preparedness resources.
In Greenwich, some public safety highlights include:
- Developing a plan to reduce fire department response times in the northwest section of town
- Working with the Human Services Department to develop a Greenwich Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) to assist those in our community who may be suffering from substance abuse issues or having chronic behavioral health concerns
About 8.4% of Greenwich’s budget, or $39.1 million supports the public works budget for the town. Public works covers many areas including parks and recreation, engineering, operations, road maintenance, and more
The budget for public works generally includes funding for efforts in those departments, such as: road and sidewalk maintenance; engineering and design work; resources to maintain parks and recreation facilities, as well as infrastructure support; salaries for public works administration and staff; wastewater and stormwater management; and support for trash and recycling.
In Greenwich, some public works highlights include:
- Working on the soil remediation project at Greenwich High School
- Implementing the numerous capital projects including the bridge program, infrastructure work, and stormwater system improvements.
- Continuing the preliminary design work at Grass Island for the phase 1 flood mitigation project
Community and Human Services
About 6.6% of Greenwich budget, or $30.8 million goes toward community and human services in the town. Everything from health departments to libraries, mental health services to youth and senior needs falls into community and human services. This category also includes funding that cities give to local nonprofits and agencies to provide some of these services.
In Greenwich, some of the highlights for community and human services include:
- Enhancing senior center programs, as well as adding programs in “satellite locations”
- Providing more public health information in Spanish to better serve the community
- Developing an updated three-year strategic plan that will assist the department in meeting the emerging needs of Greenwich residents with low to moderate incomes.
Economic and Community Development
About 0.6% of Greenwich’s budget, or just under $3 million is for economic and community development-related efforts, which include planning, zoning, and land use departments.
Generally, this budget includes the work of those departments, such as: application reviews; city-wide plans; zoning and building code enforcement; updates to the zoning regulations; business support; art and history commissions; tourism activities; and salaries for economic and community development staff.
In Greenwich, some of the economic and community development highlights include:
- Beginning to implement the town’s affordable housing plan
- Working to revise regulations for signage, lighting, and landscaping in town
About 4.1% of Greenwich’s budget, or $19.1 million supports general government needs in the town, which includes the office of the first selectperson, finance, town clerk, IT, human resources, legal, customer service, and support staff for elected officials, such as the RTM.
The general government budget includes the work and people in those departments, such as salaries for employees in those areas; customer support initiatives and programs, such as “click and report” applications; communications to the public; records keeping; licenses, such as marriage and dog licenses; IT support; tax collection; budgets; and agendas and meeting materials.
In Greenwich, some of the general government highlights include:
- Modernizing the town’s digital operations to expand the public’s access to local government
- Continuing the Re-Imagine Greenwich committee work to support local businesses
Employee Benefits and Pensions
About 22% of Greenwich’s budget, or $102 million, one of the highest costs in the region, goes toward employee benefits and pensions.
About 9% of Greenwich budget, or just $42.2 million, goes toward debt service. (NOTE: Greenwich also has a capital fund that it uses to pay for projects as well. This year, the budget plans to contribute about $8.6 million to the capital fund. This amount is captured in the “other” category.)
About 2.2% or $10.2 million goes toward other costs in the town.
How we did this: We reviewed each community’s published budget and found the budgeted expenses by department and put them into the categories listed above. Please note: Not every municipality categorizes its budgets the same way. For example, some organize Parks and Recreation funds under Public Works, while others separate it. For consistency, we tried to move and place the similar departments into the same buckets.