Officials reflect on last fiscal year

By Lissa Capobianco
Staff Writer
Fiscal year 2013 ended in a surplus for the town’s budget, reported Town Manager Garry Brumback.
Brumback said the town had a little more than $600K in expenditures and a similar amount of surplus in revenues.
“We budgeted under a certain set of assumptions that the state was not going to come forward with the kind of revenue that they previously told us.”
Besides the surplus, last fiscal year also brought a small decrease in taxes by .03 percent, Brumback said.
Brumback said the amount is small, but still good news for the average taxpayer.
“If we can pass savings on, even though they’re small, then we’ll do that,” he said.
Brumback pointed the success of the last fiscal year to the collaboration between the finance board and the town government as well as the Board of Education.
“We’ve collaboratively changed the way we budget,” Brumback said. “We’ve been able to accomplish everything we’ve set out to accomplish and still relieve some of the burden to taxpayers.”
Southington School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Erardi also mentioned the collaboration between the education board, the finance board and the town government. He reported that the last fiscal year ended in a surplus of over $12,000 for the school district.
“When the day comes to close, I am certain that the Board of Finance, the Town Council, and the Board of Education are doing their absolute best for all youngsters in this town,” Erardi said. “We never lost sight of children.”
Erardi reflected back on multiple projects the school budget helped accomplish this past year including the full-day kindergarten program, improvements in technology and security upgrades in response to the Newtown tragedy.  Erardi said the improvements made in school safety were the most important project the board accomplished last year.  After the Newtown tragedy on December 14, the school board spent the rest of the year creating a new safety plan that emphasized stronger and faster methods of communication between the school district and emergency officials as well as the town manager.  Calling the plan sustainable, reasonable and meaningful, Erardi said “safety is all about time between the perpetrator and the incident.”
“That is work that this whole community can be proud of,” he said.
With the new school year just around the corner, Erardi said he looks forward to new changes in the school district including the first full-day kindergarten program, the recovery of lost staff, an increase in funding for professional development and long-term technology improvements.  Erardi said he is also excited for the middle school renovations to be completed by 2015.

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