The Stonington Board of Finance went back to the drawing board Wednesday night making a series of cuts to the proposed 2012-2013 budget.
Board members began the meeting trying to decide just how much of a mill rate increase they thought residents would accept after voters said .
They agreed to aim for a .25 to .3 mills increase and by the end of their budget deliberations reached a .26 mills increase. In just over 50 percent of respondents said they could handle an increase of less than 1 mill while about 47 percent said they could not afford any increase in taxes.
The new proposed budget stands at $56,733,696 setting the mill rate at 15.89. A property owner with a house appraised at $250,000 will pay an additional $65 in property taxes if the budget is accepted.
In order to reach that number the Board of Finance agreed to cut $300,000 from the Stonington Public Schools’ budget, $25,000 from a $75,000 line item to repair Hewitt Road, $25,000 for a loader for the Solid Waste Department and $50,000 in salary and benefits from the now vacant Director of Planning and Zoning position.
The board also agreed to take $100,000 from the fund balance for mill rate reduction.
Superintendent of Schools Leanne Masterjoseph was absent from the meeting but Board of Education Chairwoman Gail MacDonald was present. The Board of Education meets tonight at 7 at the and will have to decide how to make the $300,000 in cuts.
The Stonington Board of Selectmen will hold a special meeting on Friday and expects to set the date of the Town Budget Meeting for May 24 with a budget referendum on June 5.