Darien Board of Finance approves budget, sets mill rate
DARIEN — Darien’s mill rate will increase 2.47 percent to 16.12 mills, the second lowest mill rate increase of the last seven years.
The mill rate was set as the Board of Finance Tuesday when members approved in a five to one vote a total town budget of $145,304,061.
There was, however, some hesitance on the part of members of the finance board regarding certain of the Board of Education’s requests, including a new cafeteria at Darien High School and an alternative school that would serve students struggling emotionally
“Long term I think the alternative school is conceptually the right thing to do, but I'm really not a fan of it,” said board member Bruce Orr.
Still, the board approved the Board of Education’s $95,874,776 operating budget, and approved $6,710,656 in capital requests, including the $1.6 cafeteria expansion project and $30,000 in funding for the alternative school.
The selectmen’s budget came in at $49,429,285.
A tax rate of 16.12 mills is equivalent to $16.12 of taxes per $1,000 of assessed value. A property with an assessed value of $1 million will pay $16,120 in taxes under this new mill rate.
“I have a great deal of confidence in the school administration and the leadership of the board of education, and I would want to be supportive of them and their activities,” board memeber Frank Huck said.
Not budgeted for was the potential cost incurred as a result of the governor’s plan to shift some of the cost of teacher’s pensions to municipalities.
“If anything that’s imposed by Hartford between either or whenever the RTM [Representativie Town Meeting] finalizes the budget, if anything comes our way and it’s not something we can reasonably cover out of fund balance, we can go the tax assessment route,” Zagrodsky said.
The budget will now pass to the Representative Town Meeting for final approval.