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Wilton Boards Find Places to Cut Budgets

WILTON, Conn. – In response to a request to cut their budgets even further, Wilton's Board of Selectmen and Board of Education both found funds they no longer needed.

“We have the money we can take that won’t be used,” said Selectman Ted Hoffstatter.

In an earlier meeting, the Board of Finance had asked both boards to cut their 2013 budget requests to hold to a 1.75 percent increase over last year. That meant cuts of about $190,000 from the selectmen's budget and $160,000 from the school budget.

The selectmen, Hoffstatter said, found an easy fix in a fund set aside for potential unemployment and sick leave costs.

“If they were to cut further and we had to lay someone off, we had money set aside for unemployment. They’re not cutting further, so we don’t have to lay anyone off,” Hoffstatter said. He said no major sick leave is expected to occur.

Essentially, Selectman Jim Saxe said, it is “benefit-related that we’re not going to be using."

The school board found its reduction in a health care cost account.

“This decision continues to maintain health care account reserves within our guidelines and maintains the important investments this budget makes in the quality of the educational services we deliver,” Board of Education Chairman Bruce Likly said.

Although the cuts for the selectmen are only on the operating budget, the Board of Finance is holding its regular meeting Tuesday and will be discussing the bonded projects. These projects include a five-year road repair program as well as roofs at Middlebrook Middle School and Comstock Community Center.

During a selectmen's meeting Monday night, First Selectman Bill Brennan said, “We are really voting on, in some respects, the future of Wilton. We have got to take care of our facilities, we’ve got to take care of public safety needs, and we’ve got to take care of our schools and our roads.”

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