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Public Hearing Tuesday on Proposed 4.23 Percent Spending Increase

Download a copy of the budget ahead of Tuesday's public hearing.

Naugatuck residents are invited to a public hearing on the 2014-15 municipal budget Tuesday night, where they will have a chance to ask questions and give input on the proposal.

As it stands, the proposed budget includes a 4.23 percent increase in spending over the current year (an additional $4,686,745) and a 1.36 percent increase to the mill rate, from 44.8 in 2013-14 to 45.41.

Download a copy of the budget above.

The increase is driven largely by two significant line items: $1.2 million for studies and upgrades to the town’s waste water treatment facility to comply with state and federal regulations; and $3.3 million in increased healthcare costs.

Municipal and education healthcare costs combined went up by 19 percent this year, according to Town Controller and School Business Manager Bob Butler.

“As a taxpayer you get frustrated,” Butler said, voicing his own opinion as a resident and former Board of Finance chairman. “But at the same time if you go back and look beyond the last few budgets, the increases have been very low.”

The Board of Finance adopted a 3.21 percent increase last year (after a referendum failed to garner 15 percent voter turnout). However, the budgets for the 4 years prior were all under 2 percent, with the 2009-10 budget approved with a decrease of 0.37 percent.

(The board approved a 0.74 percent increase for 2010-11, a 1.76 percent increase for 2011-12 and 1.98 percent for 2012-13.)

The budget also includes changes to the Naugatuck Visiting Nurses Association (VNA), which is being closed down, and the Sanitation Department, which is being privatized.

While the VNA does generate some revenue, it has been losing money steadily over several years, costing the borough $375,000 last year.

“The VNA has done a great job,” Butler said. “100 years ago government needed to provide this service because there was no private sector. Now we’re competing against the private sector.”

Similarly, privatizing the town’s sanitation systems will lead to small increase in that line item this year, however it also causes decreases in other places.

Butler said privatizing sanitation will save the town more than $1 million over the next 5 years and, with the sale of the three automated trucks the town owns, bring in a one-time revenue of around $400,000 for 2014-15.

Residents can give comment on the budget proposal at the public hearing Tuesday, set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hill Middle School auditorium.

Geoff May 28, 2014 at 01:21 PM
A part time position for $155/ hour!? WTF! Where is common sense? Guess there is none at town hall or police and fire dept. There are people struggling to pay town taxes on their homes and vehicles, and 62K for a part time IT position? Outrageous. Spending is so out of control there is no end in sight. When does it end? Oh, I know, when we die.
Pays Attention May 28, 2014 at 05:19 PM
Geoff - It's more like 150/hr. which is actually rather cheap for an IT specialist and we do not have to pay benefits. In fact higher level specialists with the network, security, and communication skill-set to properly service something as sophisticated and vital as a police department would most likely start at a senior level which would probably start around 190+ p/hr. As to common sense, what do you propose?
Steve Elson May 28, 2014 at 08:24 PM
I just had my truck in the shop, labor rate was $110 per hour. $155 an hour for an IT tech is not that far out of line. BTW, the tech does not receive that pay rate.
Naugatuck Resident May 29, 2014 at 06:17 PM
The good people of Naugatuck are again about to get H.O.S.E.D. High Over Spending Every Day

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