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Bethel budget fails on ballot recount

A hand recount of Bethel budget ballots has been held, the municipal budget failed by 7 votes.  There was a three vote difference on Thursday when polls closed on the municipal tax and spending plan approving it.  The education budget is $42 million.  The municipal budget was $27 million and included $3.84 million in debt service and the school's $540,000 building maintenance account. 

 

There's also just over $2 million in capital expenses that was approved including $50,000 for a study of the Municipal Center gym.  The capital items also includes $96,000 for the Parks and Recreation Department for a tractor, a replacement truck and the Meckauer Park garage.

 

First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says he was disappointed with voter turnout.  He, like other chief elected officials, wants to see more participation in the process.  He adds that the close vote sent a strong message that Bethel residents want to see more spending controls put in place.

 

The education budget and capital expenditures stand as is.  The municipal budget goes back to the Board of Finance.  Knickerbocker says he hopes they take out the spending not included in the Board of Selectmen's budget recommendation that they added after.

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