Saying his proposed 2012-13 budget of $367 million "would ensure value in Greenwich residency," First Selectman Peter Tesei said his fiscal plan will "minimize taxes while maximizing services."
In a 25-minute presentation to the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) budget committee Monday evening, Tesei laid out his budget roadmap that includes $105,388,288 for town services; $139,807,220 for the ; $35,000,000 for capital projects, and $87,501,737 in fixed costs. The total plan of $367,697,245 represents a 2.67 percent increase over the current budget total of $358,147,552.
"Our continued emphasis on improving the level of services we offer, while concurrently working to improve the efficiency and economy of these services has made it possible to propose a very responsible budget," Tesei said. "These services emphasize life safety, educational excellence, the maintenance of our infrastructure and he protection of our residents' health."
Tesei said the budget, if approved without changes by either the BET or the Representative Town Meeting, would mean a tax increase of 2.86 percent on the current rate of 10.11 mills per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The proposed town operating budget of $105,388,288 represents a 1.67 percent increase over the current $103,657,408 budget; a 2.56 percent increase in the $136,312,034 board of education budget to $139,807,220; a 9.38 percent increase for capital from $32 million to $35 million, and a 1.54 percent increase for fixed charges from $86,178,110 to $87,501,737. (To view the complete Selectman's budget, click on the document at right.)
The police department budget would increase 2.76 percent from the current $18,586,123 to $19,098,269. The budget includes the hiring of at least 12 police officers to fill vacancies.
The public works budget of $19,366,142 is 2.88 percent less than the current budget, primarily due to the town's switch last August to single-stream recycling.
The Board of Education budget will continue focus on improving student performance in all grades, especially at the elementary and middle school level, board chairman Leslie Moriarty said.
In his budget address, Tesei outlined major capital projects - much of which includes continued work on multi-year projects begun this year - the replacement of the Central Fire Station ($500,000); the Music Instruction Space and Auditorium (MISA) project at ($11 million), and the renovation of The Nathaniel Witherell nursing home ($11 million). The proposed budget totals $44.7 million; there were $68.5 million in funding requests. (For the complete capital budget, click on the Selectman's Capital Budget document at right.)
In addition to continuing those projects, the town has added $3.57 million to the capital budget for the soil testing and remediation of contaminants found at the high school and MISA project.
The and Pool project, a private-public partnership with the , is earmarked to receive a $150,000 in capital funds for design and engineering plans to see how a new pool facility would impact the park including parking availability. The Greenwich Emergency Medical Service would receive $250,000 to pursue studies on creating a fourth station for ambulances and crew on the Seton Reservation on Riversville Road.
The BET budget committee, chaired by Joseph Pellegrino, will begin its detailed review of the budgets on Thursday with an all-day session to begin at 9:45 a.m. in the Cone Room of Town Hall. The Board of Ed budget will be reviewed. (For complete budget hearing and vote schedule, please see BET budget guidelines document at right.)
*Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information and documents.