Annual Town Meeting set for May 6, budget vote to be held following week

A 1.24 percent tax hike crowns a nearly $148-million budget package that would boost school spending by over $3 million — but $230,000 less than the school board requested — while approving the selectmen’s plans for no increase in town departments’ budget next year. Approved on a series of unanimous Board of Finance votes last week, the 2019-20 budget, and … read more

School spending draws more supporters than critics at budget hearing

With emotional pleas to educate children and financial appeals based on schools as the foundation of real estate values, a chorus of 10 school supporters outnumbered a trio of tax-hike skeptics at Monday’s budget hearing. “The economic engine of our town is the quality of schools,” said Sandra Mahoney of Wild Turkey Court. “I moved here for our schools and … read more

Finance board flummoxed: Tea-leaf reading state budget moves

Fiddle, bicker, discuss — the state’s very public political process makes problems for the town. “Hartford is 19 square miles, surrounded by the real world,” said Dick Moccia of Ridgefield’s Board of Finance. Fiscal planning by the town is complicated by the state’s ways: it’s urge to offload costs onto municipalities; the schedule that has legislative sessions ending after town … read more

Selectmen reject Marconi raise proposal

Comments by First Selectman Rudy Marconi functioned as a tie-breaking vote against giving Ridgefield’s first selectman — Marconi — a $10,000 raise. Although Marconi left the room more than once so the discussions could go on without him, his colleagues kept returning to the issue — one of the few budget adjustments that the Board of Selectmen could not find … read more

Selectmen pass budget, recommend $460,000 school cut

Recommending a cut of close of half a million on a roughly $98-million school budget, the Board of Selectmen finished up their work on 2019-20 budget Wednesday, March 6.  The selectmen unanimously approved a $38,318,807 budget for town departments — the 0% increase they’d been working on. They also approved a $4,525,570 capital budget for major projects and purchases for … read more

Nearing 0% increase for town departments, selectmen review budget

Within $10,000 of their targeted 0% increase in the budget for town departments — excluding the schools — the Board of Selectmen reviewed some of the “puts and takes” that had gotten it to the verge of a budget that would remain flat from 2018-19 to 2029-20.  The town departments’ budget was at $36,493,175 when the selectmen met Friday afternoon, … read more

Outstanding debt: Town’s borrowing has declined from $140 million to $60.7 million over last two decades

On average, American households have about $15,000 of credit card debt, according to NerdWallet.

Town debt peaked and has been in decline for more than a decade. Looming capital expenditure needs could change that, although town officials work to limit borrowing and try to time major projects so they don’t balloon the debt. Ridgefield’s outstanding debt has fallen from a peak of about $140 million after borrowing for the $90-million school bundle — renovations … read more

Closing in on a zero increase: Marconi trims town departments’ spending

There’s a zero percent increase, and there’s a zero increase. The selectmen started their budget work Monday looking at a $38-million budget proposal for town departments and road work next year that would amount to a 0.58%. Getting it down to 0.00% would mean finding about $223,000 in cuts — in a budget proposal where jobs have already been reduced … read more

Budget bummer: Town expects insurance bump

With insurance costs a major obstacle to holding the 2019-20 town budget increase down, the selectmen will begin their budget work with four meetings the first week of February. “The big question this year is health insurance, as it is most years,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. “We need to figure that out, and no one has yet but we’re … read more

Tri-board meeting is Tuesday in town hall annex

The tri-board meeting — the annual town meeting of the Board of Finance, Board of Selectmen, and Board of Education — will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. It will be held in the Board of Education conference room in the town hall annex, located at 66 Prospect Street. The meeting typically looks at the town’s financial picture … read more

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