RTM approves Greenwich’s $395 million budget

The 2014-15 town of Greenwich municipal budget is now official as the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) gave an overwhelming stamp of approval Monday night.

The RTM voted by a 176 to nine margin with five abstentions to approve the $395 million budget, which calls for a 2.75% increase in the town’s mill rate. The vote followed what was largely a contention-free evening and even moved briskly by the standards of a RTM budget vote with the final tally being announced at the close to three-hour mark for the meeting, which began at 7 p.m.

Only four motions were made to make deletions in the budget and of those four only one passed. By an even bigger margin than it approved the budget as a whole, the RTM removed $375,000 that had been earmarked for the redesign of the intersection of North Street, Fairfield Road and Parsonage Road. That vote, which came after near unanimous displeasure for the plan, was by a 185 to three margin with four abstentions. Public support for the plan was so nonexistent that the town did not even protest the removal of the funding at Monday’s meeting.

Other attempts to make deletions to the budget were far less successful as each of the three motions went down to easy defeats. Motions from RTM District 1 member Carl Carlson to remove the $178,000 salary for Town Administrator John Crary because he felt the position wasn’t necessary and to remove $2,370,000 of money for the ongoing music instructional space and auditorium (MISA) project at Greenwich High School both were voted down emphatically as was a motion from District 10 member Alan Small to remove $200,000 for further work on the Byram Beach master plan that could lead to a new municipal pool in town. Mr. Small said he didn’t believe it made sense to fund the pool when there were still questions about funding a Northwest Greenwich fire station, which he supported. Proponents of the funding though countered by saying the projects were not related and that the $200,000 would lead to answers about the feasibility of the pool project.

More details will be available in the May 15 edition of the Greenwich Post.

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