Tonight, the Board of Finance is holding a public hearing on the education budget for FY ’17. The meeting will take place at Middlebrook School Auditorium (131 School Rd.) and begin at 7:30 p.m..

Once the budget is presented, the public comment portion of the meeting will begin. Town officials have been very vocal about asking residents to attend the meeting, ask questions and make their thoughts and opinions known. Board of Finance members will take resident feedback into account when deciding whether or not to cut the proposed budget before officially presenting it to the Town for a final budget vote in May.

The education budget can be found online.

To encourage more parents of younger children to attend the hearing, several parents have organized on-site babysitting at Middlebrook. Adults and teenagers will be available to entertain little ones with crafts and games. In order to have sufficient coverage, parents are asked to fill out a Google form if they plan to attend with children.

The Board of Finance will hold a similar public hearing on the Board of Selectmen‘s FY ’17 budget on Tuesday evening, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the same location. In addition, that evening the Board of Finance also will cover Capital Budget Debt Service; Tax Relief; Non-Tax Revenues; Contingencies; Grand List; Fund Balance; Reserves; and Rate of Taxation.

Information on budget requests by the individual town departments can be found on the town website.

Copies of the detailed requests will be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Office of the Town Clerk, 238 Danbury Road, and at the Board of Education Central Office, 395 Danbury Road. Copies of the detailed budget proposals will also be available at the public hearings.

Proposed budget requests are as follows:

Board of Selectmen Operating:  $31,018,191
Board of Selectmen Capital:  $1,396,689
Board of Education:  $80,972,640
Debt Service:   $11,348,452
Sewer Assessment:  $122,678
Subtotal:  $124,858,650
Charter Authority:     $1,248,587                               
Total Operating Requirements:   $126,107,237