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First Selectman Messages

Town of Canton >> Boards and Commissions >> Board of Selectmen >> First Selectman >> First Selectman Messages


4/23/2021 - 04/23/2021

Dear Residents,


Town Budget

The Town is approaching the end of its six month budget process. We have a hearing on Monday, April 26, at 7 pm, and a referendum on the budget on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 beginning at 6:00 am at the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave. to 8:00 pm. 

Complete information about the budget can be found by clicking HERE or viewing the Budget Mailer.

Budget Development 

Long before the Board of Finance (BOF) proposed a budget for referendum, Town employees reviewed their operations and plans with the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Superintendent of Schools. This process began in October and resulted in a detailed analysis of all current and future Town activities and spending. 

The Boards of Education and Selectmen reviewed budget proposals from the CAO and Superintendent in February, made adjustments, and presented these budgets to the BOF in March.  The BOF governs both the short-term financial needs of the Town and long-term capital planning. In its decision-making, the BOF tries to balance town services, a strong school system, maintenance of nearly $120 million of infrastructure, the Town’s bond rating, and the impact of the taxes imposed on residents and businesses. 
Following its review of the budget proposals, the BOF made further adjustments based on the total picture of Town revenue and expense. Major expense drivers this year are: 
Reduced interest income due to lower interest rates.
Increases in contracted labor costs.
Ongoing capital improvements to maintain the Town’s infrastructure. 

These factors were partially offset by: 
A substantial increase in the Town’s Grand List over the past year (1.44%).  
Reduced principal and interest due on the Town’s outstanding debt. 
Operational efficiencies identified by Town leadership through the budget process.
The ability to recoup some COVID costs incurred this year from the recently passed federal relief legislation. 

The Boards of Education and Selectmen then reviewed and approved the BOF adjustments. The BOF met again on April 19 to adopt these adjustments. 

The public hearing on the budget on April 26 enables Town residents to ask questions and comment on the proposed budget. Following that hearing, the BOF will review the proposed Town budget one more time and adopt the proposal for referendum. 

Goals & Final Budget Numbers

Goals for this year’s budget are:
Preserve Town services and infrastructure
Improve operational efficiency and resiliency throughout Town operations 
Invest in services that will promote economic recovery and growth following the pandemic
Maintain financial reserves to fund emergency expenditures, bridge repairs and possibly a new fire station. 

Budget proposals submitted by the Boards of Education, Finance and Selectmen would have resulted in a 4.53% increase in the mil rate. After considering the many factors that compose the full Town budget, the BOF:
Reduced the Board of Education’s operating budget by $583,000;
Reduced the Board of Selectman’s operating budget by $51,000; and,
Left the overall Capital Improvement Budget intact.  

The BOF further agreed to transfer $100,000 from the unassigned fund balance to the general fund to cover shortfalls in investment revenue. The resulting budget of $41,893,322 translates to a mil rate of 33.22 which will require a 1.94% increase over the current mil rate of 32.59.
Please take the time to read through the Town budget and vote on May 11. If you have questions about the budget, please send them to budgequestions@townofcantonct.org.

Need an absentee ballot for the referendum?  Click HERE and get the completed ORIGINAL to the Town Clerk at: 4 Market Street, PO Box 168, Collinsville, CT 06022.  After the April 26th Public Hearing, ballots will be available by approximately May 3rd.   

Stay well,
Bob Bessel

 

 

Contact

 

Robert Bessel
First Selectman
Phone: (860) 693-7847
Email: rbessel@townofcantonct.org

Office Hours:
-Wednesdays 9am-1pm & 3pm-6pm
-By appointment

Location: Canton Town Hall, P.O. Box 168, 4 Market Street, Collinsville, CT 06022