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

Ulmer, Mancini re-elected as finance board leaders

Swiftly, unanimously and without controversy, the Board of Finance members re-elected Chairman Dave Ulmer and Vice Chairwoman Jessica Mancini to lead them for 2019. “We work together real well as a board, and will continue to do that,” Ulmer said after the Jan. 15 board meeting. Ulmer and Mancini are both Democrats. The party holds a 4-to-1 majority on the … read more

Tri-board meeting: Town finances look strong, schools’ maintenance lags

Neglected school infrastructure will be getting a closer look from a new committee, the finance board is shooting for a tax increase below 2% next year, and the 2019-20 budget work will start with a projected 5.2% school spending increase while the selectmen — having cut several positions — are hoping to hold town departments to a near-zero increase. That … 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

Redistricting? Not so fast says school board

Despite falling enrollments, Ridgefield elementary school students won’t be redistricted next fall. That was the conclusion reached at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting where redistricting was discussed for the third year in a row. The Board of Finance, looking at three additional teachers who were hired post-budget for the 2018-19 school year, suggested the school board move students around … read more

Marconi eyes flat town budget, schools will create challenge

A flat budget — one with no increase in spending from this year to the next — might be on the table as the town sizes up the fallout from the new federal tax law. First Selectman Rudy Marconi said he was looking into the idea at a forum hosted by the Democratic Town Committee on Sept. 6. “We’re going … read more

Sewer project: Hefty price tag, no new capacity

With a $48-million price tag, it’s no surprise concerns came up when the selectmen discussed a sewage treatment plant renovation expected to appear as a bond issue question on the November ballot. “The $48-million proposed project, this is just upgrading the system? We’re not adding any capacity for future growth?” Selectmen Bob Hebert asked. The District 1 sewage treatment on … read more

Charter Revision Commission acts on suggestions from public hearing

Listening, tinkering, but not backing off, the Charter Revision Commission decided to make a couple of changes based on townspeople’s comments at its public hearing June 18. “The whole idea of the Annual Town Meeting is that you can vote,” Ed Tyrrell told the hearing, attended by fewer than a dozen people. “We have a town meeting form of government.” … read more

Failed fiber-optic cable caused delayed opening at Scotland Tuesday

A three-hour delayed opening at Scotland Elementary School on Tuesday morning was caused by the failure of the fiber-optic cable that connects the school to Barlow Mountain Elementary, acting Superintendent Dr. Robert Miller said Tuesday, May 29. Miller, who also serves as the director of technology for the district, said the schools are still assessing how much the damage to … read more

$144-million budget: 1.8% tax increase heads to vote today

School, town and road repair budgets totaling over $144 million — and projected to require a 1.8% tax increase for 2018-19 — will come before voters for approval or rejection at the budget referendum today — Tuesday, May 15 — from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., with all voting in Yanity gymnasium. Voters will also decide six questions on $4.2 … read more

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