The New Fairfield Board of Finance is recommending a budget for the coming fiscal year with a little more than a 1 percent tax increase. First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says this is the lowest mill rate increase in ten years, with the exception of the 2016/2017 budget when the Treasurer refinanced the Town’s debt.
At the recommendation of the New Fairfield School Safety and Security Committee, the budget contains funding for an additional permanent School Resource Officer position and an additional Dispatcher to monitor school security equipment. There will be SROs in all four New Fairfield schools. These additions account for approximately 31-percent of the total municipal budget increase over last year’s budget. The Board of Selectmen will be holding public question and answer sessions about the budget in the coming weeks.
Priorities were given to school safety, bridge and drainage repairs and EMT Paramedic services. A third of the increase in the municipal budget is for an additional contract with Danbury Hospital for EMT and Paramedic services for 24/7 coverage following a decreased in volunteers in recent years.
4 positions have been eliminated from Public Works and Buildings and Grounds over the past decade but this year's budget restores one position. Del Monaco says prioritizing preventative maintenance improves safety and decreases the need for costly repairs in the future. This addition accounts for 14% of the municipal budget increase.