Instead of adopting the budget as scheduled for the May 8 Town Council meeting, Southington officials tabled the action after hearing from Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, who represents part of the town in the 30th general assembly district.
The current uncertainty from the Capitol has left municipalities with an option to extend their budget deadline. Southington leaders took advantage of the opportunity.
Council chair Michael Riccio announced during the meeting that a special meeting was held last week with representatives from the Council, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Town Manager Garry Brumback and Attorney Mark Sciota present.
Prior, Riccio and Brumback spoke to Aresimowicz, who advised them to hold off adopting a budget for 30 days. No action was taken during that special meeting.
“[Aresimowicz] assured me that while he didn’t necessarily believe there would be a budget enacted, there would be an opportunity for him to give us better guidance and a little better clarity on what the structure—which is the more important part of the budget—would be,” Brumback told the council.
Under town charter guidelines, officials must adopt a budget no later than the second Monday in May, so that the Board of Finance can adjust the tax mill rate on or before May 15. However, a New Haven court case before the Supreme Court case ruled that under exigent circumstances, the council is allowed to extend the deadlines in the charter, as long as they continue with the process.
“Just because the state doesn’t have a budget, that’s not a unique situation,” Sciota said. “The state is changing its structure.”
The council is expecting to adopt a budget during their June 12 meeting, so that the Board of Finance can approve it during their June 14 meeting. Sciota confirmed that residents will still be given a 30-day window to pay their tax bills, regardless of what date the bills are released.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Jen Cardines, email her at JCardines@SouthingtonObserver.com.