By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously on Jan. 28 to approve the budget for the 2016-2017 academic-year.
The budget proposes a 3.61 percent increase to the previous year’s budget, totaling $92,901,729.
Superintendent Timothy Connellan provided the Board with his proposed budget on Dec. 29.
The BOE reviewed the budget, created by an administrative leadership team, during two Budget Workshops on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21.
Chairman Brian Goralski said that in the week following the workshops, several members reached out to Connellan and Sherri DiNello, Director of Business and Finance for Southington Public Schools, to address any remaining questions or concerns.
Connellan said that throughout the process “it was very good dialogue, there were great questions that everyone asked,” and thanked the administrative team for their dedication.
At the Jan. 28 meeting, DiNello provided all of the BOE members with a copy of the adjusted budget following the workshops, where they discussed the 3.65-percent increase.
DiNello said that after meeting with energy consultant Titan Energy Worldwide, Inc., she suggested two deductions to the electricity and gas accounts. These deductions subtracted $34,000 from the total budget, offering a revised total increase of 3.61 percent.
After reviewing the revisions, Terri Carmody (R) made a motion to adopt the Superintendent’s budget as presented. Before the vote, several BOE members applauded the efforts put into its creation.
“It is not easy to come up with the numbers and come up with what you need as administrators” said Colleen Clark (R) “I’m very grateful for the work that you did, and I think this is an outstanding budget.”
Bob Brown (D) said “I think this budget represents the best we can do for helping the kids in this town.”
The budget passed unanimously on a roll-call vote.
Goralski said that the next step in securing the budget is to present their proposal to the Board of Finance (BOF) on Feb. 10.
The BOF will hold a public hearing on the budget on March 7, and they are scheduled to vote on the budget on March 30. After that, the budget proposal will be presented to the Town Council on April 25, and is expected to be voted on, along with the rest of the town budgets, on May 9.
“We always need more than we ask for,” said Goralski, “Hopefully we’ll get them to support what we need right now.”