First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick presented her proposed $342.7 million budget, a more than $10 million increase from the previous year calling it “responsive” to the town’s needs and “responsible” to the taxpayers. The overall budget would raise Fairfield’s mill, or tax rate, rate by just under 1%.
The proposed town budget totals $116 million, while the Board of Education’s budget totals just under $200 million. An additional $26.5 million is for shared expenses between the two and the school district.
In her budget, Kupchick worked on “rightsizing town government to better serve the needs of Fairfield residents. These proposed changes include:
- Making the Director of Social Services a full-time position to “address increasing assistance needed for financial impact of COVID on low income residents, and mental health services.”
- Consolidating two part-time roles into a full-time director for the senior center who can focus on providing increased services for seniors
- Adding two police officers to “address new demands on law enforcement.”
- Eliminating and replacing the positions of engineer drafter and instrument operator with a new senior civil engineer and project manager.
The proposal includes a 4.12% increase for the Board of Education, which is about $2 million less than what the Board of Education had asked for.
The Board of Selectmen spent two days so far reviewing the budget, asking questions of department heads, and gathering public feedback.
On Monday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m., the board will discuss any final questions and comments before voting to send the budget on to the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance can make additions or reductions to it before approving it and sending it on to the Representative Town Meeting. The RTM can reduce, but not increase, the budget if its members choose to do so, before officially adopting it in May.