The Bethel budget referendum is being held today. Residents are voting on a $32.9 million municipal plan and $49 million for the schools. Polls are open until 8pm at all three polling places. All residents legally registered to vote in the Town of Bethel are eligible.
If approved, the tax and spending plan would increase the mill rate 1.9 percent.
There's a 2.33 percent increase in education funding a little less than a 1-percent increase in town spending. There's been a reduction in non-tax revenue, reduced program fees and interest income due to COVID-19, and low interest rates nation-wide. Debt service is increasing because of the Rockwell and Johnson renovations and the new Police Station.
Anyone casting a ballot in person is asked to wear a mask when inside the building and observe social distancing protocols while waiting in line. Poll volunteers will be sanitizing all surfaces and equipment during the day, but residents are encouraged to bring their own pen in order to to minimize contact with equipment and materials. A black felt-tipped marker will work best.