Chester BOS moves city budget, up 3.15%, to public hearing

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By By Aaron Rubin • 05/17/2022 1:35 PM EST

Selectman’s Chester Council approved a proposed city budget of $15,329,800 for 2022-’23, up $468,307 or 3.15% from the current year’s budget for the exercise at a meeting on May 10. The budget will go to a town meeting vote on Tuesday, May 10. 24 for the final vote.

The Town Meeting will be held in person on May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House. Mail-in ballots will not be accepted as part of the voting process. Voters are required to wear masks when meeting in person. Registered voters and ratepayers with $1,000 or more of assessed property in the city can vote.

Of the proposed $15,329,800, $10,379,403 is to support the schools budget and an increase of $101,839 or 0.99% over current expenditures. The city side of the budget, which also carries debt service, is $4,950,297, an increase of $366,368 or 7.99%.

The Board of Finance (BOF) wants to maintain the current rate of 29.5% for next year and believes that the budget proposal as it stands will allow the city to maintain this rate. Most homeowners will see no change in their taxes then, according to BOF Chairman Richard Nygard.

“Those who can expect a tax increase will be new homeowners and some reassessments, and although most homes were not reassessed last year, there will be one reassessment in the year to come, which could affect a number of existing owners,” he said.

The budget would be effective July 1 through June 30, 2023. The City Assembly will also seek approval of a five-year capital budget and the allocation of $535,000 from the unrestricted general fund balance to offset capital expenditures. fixed assets. The full call for the meeting is available on the city’s website chesterct.org.

Among the 16 capital expenditures in the budget are $8,000 for maintenance work at Cedar Lake, a two-year effort to clear the water of obstructive objects like weeds, so that recreational activities like boating boating and swimming can take place, according to Nygard.

Another regular capital item in the budget is the $13,000 to be spent on updates to the city’s computer system and equipment, which appear in the city’s budget each year, according to Nygard. The fire department will also receive its annual expenses, with $45,000 to be spent on equipment replacement, fire-retardant uniforms and other emergency supplies.

The budget provides for the allocation of a total of $150,820 from ARPA funds to three projects. $6,000 in ARPA funds will be used for a concrete slab for a new carousel at the Chester Public Library. An additional $44,820 will be allocated to enable Tri-Town Youth Services to hire three key positions for the next two years, providing direct clinical services, prevention education, positive social-emotional skills development and early interventions for identified young people.

The remaining $100,000 in ARPA funds will be directed to the creation of an ARPA Social Services Fund, and will be intended to provide assistance to the city’s most financially disadvantaged households. The proposal, which was first reviewed by the city’s ARPA committee and then sent to the Selectmen and Finance Board, is intended to offer assistance to families who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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