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2/26/2015 - First Selectman Unveils 2016 Budget

First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that after months of thorough budget review and numerous deliberations with his fiscal team, Town departments and the School’s Superintendent, he is proposing a 1.64% tax increase for fiscal year 2016.

In putting together this budget, First Selectman Tetreau said, “I am committed to managing the Town as efficiently and effectively as possible to help keep Fairfield the best value in Connecticut and to help residents who are struggling financially stay in Fairfield. This commitment to provide cost effective programs and services help make Fairfield a desirable place to live.”

Highlights of the First Selectman’s recommended budget include:

• A total Town increase of 1.64%--the fourth year in a row of declining increases and the lowest increase in the last fifteen years.

• A Town-side increase of only .77% increase over last year—this is the lowest Town-side budget increase in twenty years.

• Full support for the Board of Education requested increase of 3.29%.

• The new mill rate represents an increase of $140 for a home with a median assessed value of $350,000.

• A full funding of our Pension and Retiree Medical (OPEB) obligations.

• A strengthening of our financial reserves with a $650,000 Contribution to Surplus.

• An increase to our Senior and Disabled Tax Relief program.

This proposed budget does not cut funding for education or school security and it restores money to the Town’s library and paving. The First Selectman is recommending additional support for the Conservation Department, Finance Department and School Nurses.

The Town’s due diligence in managing cost drivers is resulting in decreases in pension, debt service, OPEB and workers compensation expenses. The commitment of the Town’s employees and managers to work together has helped minimize expense growth.

First Selectman Tetreau further stated, “I want to recognize the dedication and commitment of our Town departments heads and managers as well as our CFO and our Finance Department for their diligence in minimizing the increases in this budget while maintaining our Town’s high level of services. I want to especially thank our labor unions for working with us to keep our long term costs under control.”

The public is encouraged to attend the budget hearings or view them on FairTV at http://www.fairfieldct.org/FairTV, the Town’s government channel that tapes Town meetings.

The photo shows CFO Bob Mayer and First Selectman Mike Tetreau discussing the budget.