North Canaan airs 2023-24 budgets

NORTH CANAAN — North Canaan’s Board of Finance presented the town’s 2023-24 spending proposals at a public hearing at  Town Hall on April 19.  Finance chair Nancy O’Connor led the meeting to review changes and field questions.

“I’ll go through each section. I’ll stop at the end of each section. If you have any questions specifically about that section you can ask it then,” said O’Connor.

The board first reviewed the budget for North Canaan Elementary School (NCES). One notable change in NCES’ proposal was a $30,185.17 decrease in cost of electricity. Resident Dan Stanyon inquired about the cause of this decrease to NCES Principal Alicia Roy.

“We did use some grant moneys to do a little bit of building management work and I do think it truly may have helped our electricity,” said Roy.

NCES’ total proposed budget amount for 2023-24 is $4,426,036.83, which is $25,597.17 (0.58%) less than the 2022-23 budget of $4,451,634.00.

The decrease in elementary school spending helped offset a hike in North Canaan’s Region One assessment for next year. North Canaan’s total proposed contribution to the 2023-24 Region One budget is $5,702,883.00, up $194,761.00 (3.54%) over the 2022-23 budget of $5,508,122.00.

The Region One budget referendum is Tuesday, May 2, with voting at Town Hall from noon to 8 p.m.

O’Connor then moved on to the Board of Selectmen’s spending plan, which includes a 4% raise for all hourly town employees. The largest line item increases for municipal spending went to emergency services, including a $50,000 increase to the fire department, a $30,000 hike toward emergency medical services, and a $30,000 increase to the resident trooper budget.

The selectmen’s proposed municipal budget amount for 2023-24 is $3,267,102. This represents an increase of $232,559 (7.66%) compared to the 2022-23 budget of $3,034,543.

This put the total budget for North Canaan in 2023-24 at $13,396,021.83, an increase of $401,723 (3.09%) over last year’s budget of $12,994,298.83.

The Board of Finance will conduct a final review of the budget at its regular meeting on May 10 before determining a date for the town vote.

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