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Town Council OKs $125.5M New Canaan Budget

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The long process of crafting New Canaan’s 2012-13 fiscal year budget is done, but residents will have to wait until next month to find out what they will pay in taxes.

The New Canaan Town Council tinkered with next fiscal year’s spending plan before approving the $125.5 million proposal during the annual budget meeting Tuesday.

New Canaan budget director Jennifer Charneski said the Board of Finance will set the mill rate May 8. The completed budget should end with only a “nominal” tax hike, said First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III. He said it would be less than the 2.5 percent increase he wanted when budget discussions began in January.

“The departments took heed to work within restraints. We will have a nominal tax increase and … residents will get the same services,” Mallozzi said. New Canaan had to deal with funding an employee pension fund and had to account for salary increases for New Canaan Public Schools teachers.

The approved budget calls for the town to raise $116.8 million in taxes, about $3.1 million more than this year.

The council reduced capital expenses by $72,500 after cutting funds for a license plate reader for the New Canaan Police Department and relocation expenses for the emergency operations center. It also reduced costs for a pay machine for the parking department.

The council did not make cuts in the Board of Education’s $74.5 million plan, though Councilman Roger Williams requested eliminating $18,000, the difference in salary between outgoing Superintendent David Abbey and his replacement, Mary Kolek. The amendment was voted down, 9-2.

The board also maintained about $15,000 for furniture for the New Canaan Library. Councilor Christine Hussey supported the funds because of the high use of the library by residents for Internet access and information while power was out after Hurricane Irene in September and a freak snowstorm last October.

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