Litchfield voters to weigh $4.18m budget, road work

LITCHFIELD – A warrant article calling for more than $1 million for major road work in the area of Page and Albuquerque roads, Cranberry Lane and Chase Brook is among proposed town expenditures that residents will get to discuss at Saturday’s town Deliberative Session at Campbell High School.

At the session, which starts at 2 p.m., registered voters will hear an explanation of each article, which they can then comment on or discuss. With the exception of Article 5, residents can vote to amend each article. The final version of the warrant will be taken up at the general elections March 10.

Topping the spending articles is Article 5, which asks voters to consider the proposed $4,179,796 operating budget for fiscal year 2010. The figure doesn’t include three special warrant articles and four individual warrant articles that will be voted on separately. Including those seven articles, the total budget is $5,612,810.

The default budget, which would go into effect by law if the operating budget is rejected by voters, is $4,087,719.

At its public hearing in January, the budget committee voted to recommend Article 5 – the operating budget – and all seven of the special and individual warrant articles.

>Town Meeting ‘09<< Among the articles that are expected to draw the most comments are No. 4, which includes a road bond that calls for major road construction, and No. 6, which asks voters whether the town shall adopt a town manager form of government and approve a $42,500 salary and $14,875 in benefits to fund the position for the second half of 2009. The police and fire departments also have articles on the agenda. Police are asking for approval to hire a full-time officer, who would start July 5 and be compensated $26,642 in salary and benefits for the remainder of 2009. The fire department is asking, in Article 10, for an appropriation of $13,000 to send a firefighter for paramedic training. One article may draw praise Saturday for the convenience it could bring to residents and town officials. Article 12 asks whether the town clerk and tax collector should be allowed to take credit cards for payment of tax bills and other town fees.