NEW CANAAN, Conn. — New Canaan’s Board of Finance finalized its recommended $132.07 million spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year Tuesday night.
The recommended plan is about $6.5 million more than this year's budget. It is also slightly more than the previously proposed budget that was recently made public.
Before the board approved the spending plan, a public hearing was held in which several parents came out against cuts in the Board of Education’s budget. The finance board’s proposal called for a $77.94 million plan, slightly less than the schools proposed budget.
“Without our schools performing at the level they do, all of our property values would take a hit,” Michelle Orr said during the hearing at the New Canaan Nature Center.
Cobie Graber suggested that town officials reach out to the community to see what resources are available to negate other costs in the spending plan, so the schools could have more. “I am willing to brainstorm,” she said. “There have to be more creative solutions.”
Many were also upset that the Teen Talk program, which places a counselor in New Canaan High School, was not funded in the Human Services Agencies plan for the upcoming year.
Parent Dennis LaPolice said 227 students reached out to the counselor last year for help on a variety of issues and said those might not have gone to other staff members.
“Haven’t we learned through tragedy that the kids need our support?” LaPolice said.
The spending plan now goes to the Town Council. Another public hearing, currently scheduled for April 3, will be held before a final vote on the plan April 9.