This Year’s Town Budget

The Democratic majority on the Board of Finance, led by Bruce Carlson (Chair), John O’Brien, Meghan Brady and George Chang worked closely this year with Carl Fortuna and Matt Pugliese to develop a responsible budget that invests in all the right places while limiting spending.

Although inflation ran hot and challenged us on many fronts, this year’s town budget increases by only 2.3%.  This was quite a feat given that two thirds of the budget are salary and benefits subject to contractual increases.  Nevertheless, the Town will be making critical investments.  Parks and Recreation, so vital to our town’s residents and tourist industry alike, will see new funding both from the budget, from a sinking fund commitment of $100,000 and, later this spring, from ARPA (Federal American Rescue Plan) funds. Worn out Department of Public Works vehicles – some decades old – will be replaced and transportation for youth and family services will be upgraded. ‘

Matt Pugliese added a $500 line item to the budget for Housing and, although it doesn’t sound like much, it started an important conversation about finally implementing the Housing Task Force called for in the 2021 Affordable Housing Plan the town completed.  This task force will use available information from the Plan updated by the Mariner’s Way consulting study to determine what housing needs to be added to Old Saybrook and where it should be built.  They can then work with developers to bring these ideas to fruition.

The upcoming Town Meeting will allow residents to here from Town Leadership and ask questions about what is in – and what is not in the budget.  This dialogue is every residents opportunity to evaluate the plan before having to vote on the Budget Referendum on May 14th

You can read the plan here.

Then join us on Monday, May 6th in the Middle School Auditorium at 6:30 PM.