Board of Selectmen Proposed Budget

                            For the Fiscal Year July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022

 
   

Click on links in the text below to explore proposed budgets and historical data

Click here to read the Executive Summary for the Board of Selectmen's Proposed Budget

Click here to view the First Selectmen's budget presentation to the Board of Finance

Click here for the complete Board of Selectmen Proposed General Fund Budget

 

Priorities and Issues

The Board of Selectmen's Proposed budget is guided by the Board of Selectmen's goals and objectives.  The priority for the FY 2022 budget is to modestly improve and expand upon efficiency and convenience of services provided to town residents, while recognizing the impacts of Covis-19 and minimizing the impact on the tax rate.  Guidance provided to department heads this year was to strive for a zero increase, but to include any request for improvement of service, particularly online service offerings, they felt important for the Town to consider. 

General Fund

Expenditures

The General Fund is the main operating fund for the Town. The $49.8 million Proposed Budget, which does not include education expenses, can be divided among major spending categories. The Town operations budgets account for $25.5 million, the debt service budget accounts for $10.2 million, the contribution to the Library accounts for $4.1 million, and the capital contribution accounts for $3.7 million.  Employee benefits total $6.4 million, of which $2.2 million is for Pension & OPEB contributions and $4.2 million is for other benefits. 

 

Click here to explore the Board of Selectmen's proposed budget and historical expenditures by department.

The FY 2022 Proposed Budget of $49,772,218 is an increase of $4,724,527 (10.49%) over the FY 2021 Adopted budget. The budget by major category is as follows.

 

 

Summary of Proposed Expenditures

FY 2021
Adopted

FY 2022
Proposed

$
Change

%
Change

Town operations

24,638,524

25,465,594

827,070

3.36%

Other benefits

4,069,989

4,171,279

101,290

2.49%

Pension & OPEB

1,943,826

2,210,897

267,071

13.74%

Library

3,996,594

4,103,111

106,517

2.67%

Debt service

8,907,545

10,163,300

1,255,755

14.10%

Capital contribution

1,491,213

3,658,037

2,166,824

145.31%

$45,047,691

$49,772,218

$4,724,527

10.49%

The Town operations request can be further divided among the various units. Public Safety, which contains the Police and Fire Departments, among others, accounts for 42.31% of the total proposed budget for operating departments.  Public Works accounts for 17.30% of the adopted budget for Town operating departments.

 

Click here to explore the BOS Operations proposed budget and historical expenditures.

Click here to explore the proposed budget and historical expenditures for salaries and benefits.

The budget was impacted by significant increases and decreases in several key areas. Some of these changes are the results of policy decisions, some programmatic improvements and others result from positive experience.  Only one item is outside the control of the Town Administrator.

  • An increase of $2,166,824 in the contribution from the General Fund to fund capital project requests.  In FY 2021 some projects were funded through bonding and the Capital Fund fund balance.  Click here to explore the proposed and historical capital contributions.

  • An increase of $73,000 in the Board of Selectmen department budget for the addition of a part-time Public Information Officer ($28,000) and a consultant to review the provision of emergency services ($45,000).  Click here to explore the proposed and historical Board of Selectmen department expenditures.

  • An increase of $30,000 in the Emergency Medical Services budget due to an increase in the Town's contract with Stamford Emergency Medical Services and a reduction in the normal offset of fees as a result of decreased call volume that has occurred since the start of the pandemic.

  • An increase of $133,462 in the Contingency Employee Salary Set Aside account to provide funds for the settlement of two union contracts.  Typically these increases would be spread out among the various departments.  Because the contracts are unsettled, assumptions have been made as to the cost of wage increases for union employees.  This amount has been added to the pool of funds for increases to non-union employees, thus inflating the account.
  • Debt Service increases by $1.255 million.  In FY 2020, the Board of Finance approved the early redemption of certain outstanding bonds.  As a result, the debt service budget for FY 2021 was lower than it otherwise would have been.  The FY 2022 debt service budget assumes interest payments on a new issue to be sold in the fall.  This issue will fund several projects, including the Ox Ridge Elementary School building. Click here to explore the proposed and historical Debt Service expenditures.
  • There are reductions in cost reflected in this budget as well. The Elections budget is reduced by $20,970, a reflection of moving from multiple elections during the fiscal year to the one general fall election.  The Youth Services budget shows a decrease o $28,730, which is a result of limited program offerings due to the pandemic.

  • While the budget for medical insurance provided as a benefit to employees currently shows a modest increase, this is primarily due to proposed increases in headcount.  The current projected premium increase is under 0%.  Click to here to explore the proposed and historical benefits expenses.

Revenues:

Property taxes are the primary funding source for the General Fund.  Other funding sources include intergovernmental aid, collection of supplemental and back taxes, and non-tax revenues such as the sale of permits and licenses, charges for services, investment income, and other miscellaneous revenues. 

In the FY 2022 Proposed Budget, license & permit fees account for $3.8 million, charges for services account for $2.3 million, other tax revenues account for $1.4 million, other miscellaneous revenues account for $0.9 million, and intergovernmental aid accounts for $0.5 million. 

 

In the FY 2022 Proposed Budget, other revenues decrease by $911.220, -9.28%, as compared to the FY 2021 Adopted Budget. The most significant variance is Transfers In.  There is a reduction of $352,592 in the transfers from the sewer operating and sewer assessment funds.  Significant sewer debt has been retired and the sewer funds are now supporting lower debt service.  Additionally, the FY 2021 Adopted Budget included a $216,756 one-time transfer of bond premium to capitalize the first interest payment on the bonds for OX Ridge School.  The decrease in License and Permit revenue is primarily due to expected lower building permit revenues.  The reduction in Charges for Services is primarily due to a decrease in Youth Services programming fees due to Covid related programming changes.

Revenues by major category are as follows:

 

Summary of Proposed Non-Current Tax Revenues

FY 2021
Adopted

FY 2022
Proposed

$
Change

%
Change

Other tax revenues

1,409,000

1,449,000

40,000

2.84%

Licenses & permits

4,097,476

3,820,304

(277,172)

-6.76%

Intergovernmental aid

494,946

494,946

-

0.00%

Charges for services

2,322,872

2,280,691

(42,181)

-1.82%

Fines & forfeits

40,500

23,250

(17,250)

-42.59%

Investment income

125,001

125,000

(1)

0.00%

Miscellaneous revenues

453,876

408,608

(45,268)

-9.97%

Transfers in

873,657

304,309

(569,348)

-65.17%

Total

9,817,328

8,906,108

(911,220)

-9.28%

Click here to explore the proposed and historical non-current tax revenues.

The remainder of the Proposed Budget is funded by property taxes.    Absent any changes by the BOF or alternative funding of capital projects, the FY 2022 BOS Proposed budget would result in a mill rate of 4.22, an increase of 17.88% over the prior year adopted budget.  This mill rate would result in taxes of $2,954 for every $1 million of market value, $700,000 of assessed value, of a taxable property.  The mill rate needed to support the BOS budget was very stable for FY 2018 through FY 2021.  

 The Board of Finance will set the budgeted collection rate and recommend a mill rate to fund the combined Town and Board of Education budgets.

Reserve for Capital & Non-Recurring Expenditures (RFCNRE)

The Reserve for Capital & Non-Recurring Expenditures - the Capital Fund - is the means by which the Town accounts for its long term capital program.  The primary revenue source for this fund is an operating transfer from the General Fund.  Therefore, any changes made to this fund do have an impact on the mill rate.  Other sources of revenue for this fund include investment earnings, state grants, rental income and sale of fixed assets. 

The Capital Fund is a multi-year fund, where appropriations do not lapse at the end of the fiscal year.  The Capital Fund is primarily used for the acquisition of capital assets, but it may also be used for major expenditures, such as Revaluation, which occurs every five years.  To be considered a capital asset, an item must meet certain thresholds.  The cost must exceed $5,000 and the item must have a useful life of more than 2 years.  

The total Capital Fund Budget request for FY 2022 is $4,151,430.  Projects of note that are proposed for funding include:  Apparatus Replacement for Police, Public Works and Parks & Recreation; paving; sidewalk replacement, replacement of the traffic pre-emption system for the fire departments, and replacement of the Police Department servers.  In prior years, the Town has reserved for fire apparatus replacement.  The FY 2022 Proposed Budget does not include a contribution to the reserve account.  The BOS fully supports the purchase of required apparatus, but would like the BOF to consider funding each purchase in the year it occurs through the issuance of bonds.

The Board of Selectmen recommend that the Board of Finance consider bonding the following purchases/projects:

  • Sidewalk rehabilitation
  • Cherry Lawn tennis court resurfacing
  • Fire apparatus

Click here to explore RFCNRE proposed and historical budgets by department.

Sewer Funds

The Sewer Operations and Sewer Capital funds are used to account for activities related to the operation, maintenance and improvement of the Town’s sewer system.  The funds are self-sustaining and have no impact on the mill rate.

The Sewer Operations fund is supported by sewer service charges that are set annually.

Click here to explore the Sewer Fund proposed and historical revenues.

Appropriations in the Sewer Operating Fund are used to maintain, repair and operate the 81 miles of sewer mains and 14 pump stations.  All treatment of sewage takes place at the Stamford Water Pollution Control Facility.  The FY 2022 Proposed Budget provides for operation and essential maintenance of the sewer infrastructure and funds a contribution to the Sewer Capital Fund.  The fees paid to Stamford are the largest single item in this budget.  The FY 2022 budget assumes that there will be a 4% in fees paid to Stamford. resulting in the overall this budget showing a slight increase from FY 2021.

Click here to explore the Sewer Fund proposed and historical expenditures.

The Sewer Capital Fund budget proposes to continue the funding for replacement of pumps in the sewer pump houses.

Click here to explore Sewer Capital proposed and historical budgets.

Parking Funds

The Parking Operations and Parking Capital funds are used to account for activities related to the operation, maintenance and improvement of the parking facilities located on State property at the Darien and Noroton Heights Railroad Stations and the Mechanic Street Parking Area.  The funds are self-sustaining and have no impact on the mill rate.

The Parking Operations fund is supported by parking permits, daily parking fees and other parking related revenues.  All operating and capital expenses the Town incurs to support these services are charged to these funds.

Click here to explore the Parking Fund proposed and historical revenues.

The FY 2022 Proposed Budget provides for operation and essential maintenance of the parking facilities and funds a contribution to the Parking Capital fund.  The FY 2022 Parking Operating budget shows a reduction of $272,955.  This reduction is due to reduced expenses resulting from the pandemic's impact on commuter parking needs.  

Click here to explore the Parking Fund proposed and historical expenditures.

The proposed Parking Capital Fund budget includes funding for equipment needed to maintain the commuter parking lots.

Click here to explore Parking Capital proposed and historical budgets.