FY 2018 Budget

Recent Articles

New Canaan Treasurer: Former Municipal Employees Retained ‘Login Access’ To Town Bank Accounts

A number of town workers retained login access to town bank accounts even after their employment with the municipality had ended, New Canaan’s treasurer said Wednesday night. In working to ensure that town bank accounts are properly secured, Treasurer Andrew Brooks phoned banks to understand “who are the authorized approvers to move money from those accounts” and found that “a number of former employees, some of whom were very high up in the food chain of the town,” had not been moved from the accounts, he said during regular meeting of New Canaan’s legislative body. “So I rectified the issue and got those former employees … removed from having any access potentially to those accounts and have their names scrubbed from the account, and I just did that exercise today,” Brooks told members of the Town Council during the group’s meeting, held at Town Hall. The extent of the problem is unknown to Brooks—there are town bank accounts to which he has no access, he said. Continue Reading →

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‘We Will Have To Make Some Hard Decisions’: District Officials Address $1 Million Reduction to Budget Request

The Board of Education in proposing its original 2.76 percent operating budget increase already had factored in year-over-year reductions in spending on employee benefits, contracted services and supplies, officials said last week. Now that the district is faced with, at most, a 1.6 percent operating increase for next year—following a $1 million reduction to its $88.6 million proposal by the Board of Finance—the schools will “have to look at everything,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Town Council at their March 15 regular meeting. Since the superintendent’s own original proposed budget increase, the school board went “through the process initially of reducing and making some tough choices about initiatives and programs coming in, so we have to get back to the table and really take a hard look at everything that we have and make some decisions.”

“We will continue to keep an eye on insurance as best we can, but ultimately I will be sitting with the administrative team, we will look at everything with the Board of Education and share with them some options and decisions. It is premature to say specifically ‘this program’ and that program’ but it is going to be our responsibility is to look at it.”

The comments come as the district looks at a $1.38 million increase to its budget—and it may be less, as the Town Council has the ability to reduce it further (though not to add to it)—while it’s contractually required to pay $1.76 million more to employees (mostly teachers). Councilman John Engel asked Luizzi at the meeting: “Where is this cut going to come from?”

“Do you think that it’s fair to say electives are going to be the first things to look at? Continue Reading →

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‘It’s Nice To See Kids Maintaining Their Childhood’: Saxe Middle School Principal Defends $200,000 Request for New Playground Equipment

When playground equipment was purchased a dozen years ago for Saxe Middle School with about $125,000 in privately raised funds, many in town debated whether the gear would be used by the students there at all, Principal Greg Macedo said Wednesday night. Yet today, it sees regular use not only among fifth- and sixth-graders, according to Macedo, but also from seventh- and eighth-graders. That’s partly for reasons of status—the older kids like to run out and get on the playground equipment first—and partly because students rotate from there during outdoor recess to a playing field and on to a game of tag, Macedo told members of the Town Council at their regular meeting. “Remember now we are talking about middle-schoolers, so ‘free play’ in their mind is socialization—before maybe physical education, or even recreation,” Macedo said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “So oftentimes you will see students climb the equipment and then want to stay there to socialize.”

The comments came during an opening round of budget discussions between the Board of Education and Town Council, the elected body that has final say over next fiscal year’s municipal spending plan. Continue Reading →

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Prospect of Three-Level Deck at Locust Lot Emerges after Current Project’s Funding Is Cut from FY ‘18 Budget

After seeing its funding cut from next fiscal year’s budget, the proposed parking deck at Locust Avenue could come back to the town with a third level, officials said. Doing so would mean the economics of the project “get much better than they are right now,” according to Parking Commission Keith Richey. “The economics for that are kind of stretched, so you add another floor and at least 70 spots which you can say is entirely for commuter parking,” Richey said at the commission’s meeting Thursday, held at Town Hall. “So that is scratching my itch because of how high the Post Office now is, that you would not have to dig down that much because a three-story [deck] would still not be very high and if you are going to fight to death to get this thing done, would you not fight to get 150 extra spots rather than just 75 extra spots?”

Long a supporter of the decking at Locust Avenue, Richey on behalf of the Parking Commission expressed frustration that it has been put off further, calling the project “snakebit,” and said he learned of the possibility of a third tier for the deck from First Selectman Rob Mallozzi. Supported by the Board of Selectmen in its review of the town’s spending plan for fiscal year 2018, the $4,125,000 in bonding for the widely anticipated parking deck was cut by the Board of Finance. Continue Reading →

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District Seeks Funding for Athletic Trainers at All NCHS Fall Sports Next Year

Saying it’s a matter of student health and safety, district officials want to ensure that there’s a dedicated athletic trainer at all New Canaan High School fall sports contests next year. Because the Rams participate in such a wide range of sports across multiple venues, a single trainer “truly cannot cover everything that needs to be covered,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their meeting Monday. “When we have contests happening in football and soccer simultaneously and we have different events going on, sometimes here [at NCHS], sometimes over at Saxe other places, home and away, wherever it might be, we have found a need for more increased athletic training services,” Luizzi said while presenting his proposed budget for next fiscal year at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at the high school. “As we have learned more about the importance of quickly addressing injuries on the field and become more aware of the danger of concussions and other things on the playing field, we believe this is a student-safety driven measure. So it is a modest increase in our athletic training services which will enable us to contract in the fall for weeks of support from an agency.”

Though it isn’t clear just how much the additional trainers would cost, Luizzi’s request—conceived by NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, in attendance at the meeting, the superintendent said—comes as part of a plan to spend $115,000 overall for “contracted services.” The area that will see a spending decrease of about 4.5 percent from the current year, under Luizzi’s proposed budget, with plans to move some positions from contracts to full-time personnel. Continue Reading →

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