Light turnout at budget hearing

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It was Monday, Apr. 8, the night of Granby’s town budget hearing. The lights were on in the high school auditorium, the presenters in their places and public mikes up and running. Out of 7,737 eligible voters, there were about 63 residents in the audience to hear about the 2019–20 town budget that totals $46,766, 273. The proposal sets the mill rate change to 2.38 percent.

Board of Finance Chairman Michael B. Guarco, Jr. presided over the hearing noting that the proposal looks to balance the needs of the community against its respective costs and the residents’ ability to pay.

First Selectman B. Scott Kuhnly spoke on the municipal portion and Board of Education Vice-Chairman Mark H. Fiorentino presented the education budget proposal.

After the presentation of the budget proposal, the hearing was open for comments from the public. There was one question: “What percentage of students are represented in the special education segment of the educational proposal (the segment makes up about 20 percent of the education budget)?” Superintendent Dr. Alan Addley responded, “There are 274 students, or 14.7 percent.” Supporting special education activities is a state-mandated responsibility of the Board of Education. 

The Board of Finance held a special meeting following the hearing. While board members were disappointed with the turnout, they thought the lack of participation could be taken that residents appreciated that the boards held the line on spending in the face of uncertain state and federal funding help. The board unanimously voted to send the 2019–20 budget proposal as presented at the April 8 public hearing to referendum vote on April 22. Following the vote, individual finance board members signed a statement of intent in support of the concept of controllable annual expenditures regarding town capital needs through the 2019 bonding projects.