By Lisa Capobianco
Town Manager Garry Brumback has submitted a budget proposal of $51,536,722 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2015.The proposal is a 4.85 percent increase over the current budget of $45,081,001.
“We believe this budget strikes at our need to maintain our infrastructure and establish programs to make sure we stay current with both our facilities and equipment,” said Brumback in a statement to the Board of Finance. “I am proud that this budget funds the road improvement referendum which our citizens passed overwhelmingly and thus invests $11 million in our roads and bridges over the next couple of years.”
Brumback’s budget proposal requests for two additional employees—a human resource professional and a civilian fire inspector, as well as the tools and equipment existing staff needs to be more efficient. The proposed budget also includes a five-year Capital Improvement Plan that represents the collaboration between the town and the Board of Education, supporting the goal preserving Southington’s aging infrastructure and replacing old equipment, including vehicles and trucks that are well over 20 years old, Brumback said.
“Over the past couple of years we’ve deferred maintenance and purchases out of respect for the economy,” Brumback said, adding that his proposed budget includes a variety of capital improvement requests due to the change in the economy. “We can start picking up a couple things.”
The proposed budget also funds initial bonds for the middle school rehabilitation project, and the majority of increases are due to an increase in capital requirements, Brumback said in a statement accompanying his proposal.
“Many of these increases are offset by revenues such as an increase in state aid and the close out of smaller projects,” Brumback said in the statement.
In his statement to the Board of Finance, Brumback also mentioned the continued work toward a virtual town hall, noting the town’s advancements to that area in the form of a permitting process online and an enhanced web page. The budget proposal includes expanding the Geographical Information System (GIS) to ensure that the public has access to collected data.