North Canaan holds the line

NORTH CANAAN — A favorable Region One assessment has enabled North Canaan to reduce the overall budget for fiscal year 2024-25.

Region One Schools’ Business Director Sam Herrick, North Canaan Elementary School (NCES) Principal Alicia Roy, and First Selectman Brian Ohler presented their spending proposal to the Board of Finance on March 20.

Herrick reported the number of North Canaan students attending Housatonic Valley Regional High School dropped from 116 to 102, leading to an assessment reduction of $205,770 compared to 2023-24. The reduction helped offset increases to pupil services and regional school service center contributions.

North Canaan’s total Region One assessment came in at $5,565,923, down $136,960 (2.4%) from last year.

North Canaan Elementary School (NCES) saw a notable increase of $113,255.80 to teacher salaries in the 2024-25 spending proposal. A $23,313.72 increase to bus transportation costs was also included.

NCES showed a bottom line of $4,536,112.70 for next year, an increase of $110,075.87 (2.49%) over 2023-24.

First Selectman Brian Ohler set out to “hold the line” on spending next year. After salary increases to town personnel, the Board of Selectmen managed to produce a reduced budget for 2024-25.

The new spending proposal showed a total of $3,242,536 in municipal expenses, a reduction of $24,566 (0.75%) compared to 2023-24.

Overall, the combined budget totals in 2024-25 $13,344,571,70, a reduction of $51,450.13 (0.38%) compared to last year.

Ohler said he was “proud to be in the negative” for his administration’s first budget season.

The Board of Finance will continue its review of the three budgets with a meeting at Town Hall Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m.

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