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CT Municipalities Say They Have Made Big Cutbacks

CT Municipalities Say They Have Made Big Cutbacks

Associated Press, April 26, 2019

By Sue Haigh

Connecticut municipal leaders say they've eliminated town hall positions and reduced overtime, education spending, library services and road paving to cut expenses.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities released a survey Monday that shows many cities and towns have taken those and other cost-saving measures in recent years, as state aid has become more uncertain. 

Executive Director Joe DeLong says state grant funding to municipalities "has grown increasingly unpredictable" while demand for local services continues to increase.

The General Assembly's budget-writing committees are still in the process of crafting proposed tax and spending plans. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont already offered a two-year, $43.1 billion plan. A final agreement must be reached before the legislature's June 5 adjournment.  

The conference says the average proposed property tax increase for next fiscal year is 1.9%.

Fewer services back to top

Cutbacks that have been made include: 

Many town hall positions were eliminated since the recession began, affecting all service areas. 

 Deferred adding needed public works staff and IT services.  

 Cutbacks on overtime across all departments.  

 Cutbacks on purchase of salt, gasoline, and diesel for public works. 

 Requests for capital spending were reduced for a variety of departments. 

 Medical benefits were reduced. 

 Board of Education budget requests were widely reduced. 

 Cutbacks in engineering, grounds and highway services. 

 Underfunding debt service. 

 Hiring freezes instituted. 

 Hours of operation at transfer station cut.  

 Road paving reduced.  

 Deferred action on vehicle purchases. 

 Cutbacks in library services and parks and recreation programs. 

 Eliminated more than a dozen administrative and governmental non-essential service positions.