Aldermen approve city budget with no tax increase

The Shelton Board of Aldermen passed a city budget of $122,384,654 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year that begins July 1. The board approved a $162,138 spending increase which means the tax and the mill rate of 22.31 mills remains the same for a fourth year in a row.

Board of Aldermen President John Anglace said the city’s financial management model and low taxes have been the envy of neighboring towns in the past and are now considered a “Connecticut icon,” but the efforts put forth need to continue nevertheless.

“Despite our positive history we cannot rest on our laurels, we must continue the positive investment/cost savings strategies put forth year after year by our mayor and continue to build savings into our operating budget if we are to provide our citizens and children with the best future and opportunities,” said Anglace

He added that he believes the budget process was pleasantly smooth in comparison to past years and will only benefit the city in the future.

“This budget demonstrates our ability to work together in the best interest of Shelton citizens and taxpayers,” said Anglace. “This spending and taxation plan will manage our city well and give our citizens one of the most affordable tax rates in Connecticut without raising taxes.”

Anglace said he expects this budget to contribute to the stability of the city’s business community, their ability to compete, grow and create “much needed jobs.” He also acknowledged the current state of Connecticut’s economy which has led to businesses moving jobs out of state and property values decreasing.

“The economic climate hasn’t changed much in Connecticut. The state continues to see an exodus of people and business. The state of Connecticut’s revenue sources cannot sustain the expenditure plan adopted by Governor and majority party legislators. While the cost of living continues to decline for the second year in a row, only our seniors on Social Security are made to live on no increase in their Social Security,” said Anglace.

While adopting the proposed budget the board unanimously agreed to award a $1.6 million increase to the board of education, the same increase as last year.

Board of Education Chairman Mark Holden said they are pleased with the figure the Aldermen awarded them. He called it a “good budget” and said it was nice to get along during budget season for a change.

The Board of Ed will hire 9 employees in the upcoming school year, 7 will be full-time. The new hires will include a new media specialist whose time will be split between two elementary schools, two part-time secretaries for the curriculum and facilities departments, two social workers, two special education teachers, and two English language learner specialists for students who are learning the language.

“Once again, the Board of Aldermen is proud, privileged and pleased to adopt a budget that allows everyone the opportunity to meet the increased financial demands made upon their limited resources from the state and federal governments while maximizing community services,” said Anglace prior to the board unanimously adopting the budget.