UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: With projected tax hike under 3%, Financiers' budget cuts shelve funds for Pequot Library

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

With projected tax hike under 3%, Financiers' budget cuts shelve funds for Pequot Library

The Board of Finance started a final review of town 2013-14 spending Tuesday night with a $281.4 million proposal and called it quits six and one-half hours later with a budget plan of $279.7 million early Wednesday.
The financiers' cuts reduced the projected tax increase to under 3 percent for the fiscal year starting July 1. The actions came on the heels of cuts in proposed spending approved Monday by the Board of Selectmen, which reduced the initially spending package, which had a 6.38 percent increase, to a 3.94 percent boost.
The Representative Town Meeting will now review the spending plans before taking final vote on the 2013-14 budget in May.
Included in the spending reductions approved by the Board of Finance was a $1.2 million reduction to the Board of Education's $152.9 million proposed budget,
but the cut that caused the most controversy and discussion was the complete elimination of any town fiscal contribution to the Pequot Library in Southport, a privately run institution.
The Pequot, which works in collaboration with the Fairfield Public Library and considered by many residents as the town's third branch library, was slated to receive $350,000 in the original budget proposal, or one-third of its annual budget. The elimination, according to Pequot Executive Director Martha Lord, could well mean the closure of the library.

Finance Vice Chairman Robert Bellitto Jr. made the motion to eliminate the funding for the Pequot Library, as he did for all of the town's contributions to local non-profits, but only the cutting funding for the Pequot Library passed by a vote of 5-4. Voting in favor of cutting the entire allocation, in addition to Bellitto, were Robert Stone, Kenneth Brachfeld, Catherine Albin and Chris DeWitt. READ MORE: http://www.fairfieldcitizenonline.com/news/article/With-projected-tax-hike-under-3-Financiers-4405630.php

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