Old Saybrook to Hold Public Hearing on $47.1 Million Budget Tomorrow


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OLD SAYBROOK — The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing Tuesday night on a proposed budget of $47,173,356 for fiscal year 2020-21, an increase of $653,187, or 1.4 percent over the 2019-20 budget.

The hearing will be in Old Saybrook Middle School’s auditorium at 60 Sheffield Street at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.

The Board of Education 2020-21 operating budget proposal, passed by the school board at their January 14 meeting, is for $26,781,023, which is $260,276 or 0.98 percent more than 2019-20. This year’s school board budget includes funds for a plan to phase in reduced tuition costs for preschool until it would be free for all 4-year-olds — and potentially 3-year-olds — starting 2022-23.

The general government 2020-21 operating budget proposal, as passed by the Board of Selectmen on February 14, is $392,911 or 1.96 percent more than that of 2019-20.

The most significant increase in the general government budget was for public safety, which is slightly offset by a reduction in costs of debt service.

Of the increased costs for general government, 49 percent — or $192,067 out of $398,320 — is related to the police department, according to page 22 of the budget booklet. Police Chief Michael Spera, in a January 6 presentation of the police budget proposal, said that contractual salary increases were driving the police budget.

Old Saybrook’s most recent annual grand list showed that the town had a total net assessment of $2,301,690,063 worth of property subject to local taxes as of October 2019. This was 0.6 percent more than the previous grand list, which was $2,286,997,270.

The 2019 grand list will be used to calculate the mill rate for 2020-21. In 2019-20, the mill rate is 19.75, meaning property owners pay $19.75 for every $1,000-worth of local property that they own.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that action could be taken on this budget at Tuesday’s hearing. The hearing was actually just to present the budget to residents and take comments from residents.