A status quo budget has been approved by the Danbury City Council. The party line vote was 15-6, with all Democrats on the Council opposing the overall budget. The Council votes on each of the five sections of the budget, and then on the overall plan. Members voted unanimously for the public works portion of the budget.
The school budget is $2.6 million more than this fiscal year. City spending is up 2.6 percent. That's statutorily under the new state spending cap of 2.5 percent because some state spending doesn’t count toward the cap. The mill rate is going up .24, a less than one percent increase. The average household’s property tax bill will go up about $50 for the entire year.
Boughton included funding to create two new basketball courts and to expand the Library parking lot.
There will be no increase in sewer and water rates because the City is waiting to see if the new EPA reduces phosphorus removal mandates.
Spending is going up, because a new wing of the high school, the Freshman Academy, is opening up this fall. Staffing the new academy is the biggest driver in the budget. 12 vacant municipal positions will be filled at a later date saving the city $500,000.
With the exception of $3 million in notes, all capital spending—roads, bridges, roof repairs—is pay as you go. Boughton says that way taxpayers can know that the City is not racking up a long term debt for future generations.
$1.3 million will be used for continued clean up of the Still River in order to mitigate flooding in the downtown area cause by trees, debris, and brush. $450,000 for storm sewer system improvements, $750,000 for the school roof replacement program and $200,000 for the school HVAC replacement program will be set aside. The balance of the funding will be used to replace highway department and HVAC replacement at city buildings.