At Monday night’s Feb. 6 Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice gave her fellow board members and the public an overview of how the FY2024 BOS budget is shaping up.

After foreshadowing several concerns and potential risks she sees in the current “climate” for the FY2024 budget planning process, Vanderslice presented a BOS budget request for $34,673,595 — a 2.15% increase (or $730,231) over the budget approved for FY2023.

The entire proposed budget can be seen on the Town website.

The BOS budget is separate from — and much smaller than — the Board of Education (BOE) budget. Following a series of BOE budget workshops to hone an initial, nearly $92 million budget scenario, the BOE is still fine-tuning a potential budget request of $90.8 million, a 4.75% increase over the previous year. [Editor’s note: The BOE and the Board of Finance will hold a joint meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. For more information visit the BOE website.]

Town Budget Goals

Vanderslice began her presentation with a statement of the goals underlying the BOS budget request:

  • Continued efforts to provide the high quality of services Wilton residents and businesses expect at the lowest possible cost
  • Continued efforts to increase the Town’s resiliency
  • Continued focus on cost savings opportunities, increased use of technology and maintaining appropriate staffing levels
  • Continued pursuit of grant opportunities to reduce the taxpayers’ share of the funding of infrastructure and other initiatives
  • Continued strengthening of the balance sheet


Vanderslice noted that the budget proposal was developed without the guidance she requested from the Board of Finance (BOF), but she believes the 2.15% increase will not come as a surprise.

Referring to the 2.0% increase assumed by the BOF in mill rate modeling conducted in late 2022, Vanderslice said, “We didn’t get a target, but we’re close [to 2%].”

Dollars in thousands. Credit: Credit: FY2024 BOS Proposed Budget, Feb. 6, 2023

Vanderslice also emphasized the BOS budget’s eight‐year average annual increase of 0.86%.

“I think that’s a number the public is very happy with,” Vanderslice said. “We not only held down the cost but we made some significant improvements” in various aspects of residents’ lives.

Budget Drivers

Vanderslice summarized the budget drivers in the following chart:

Credit: FY2024 BOS Proposed Budget, Feb. 6, 2023

“Wages obviously are a key element,” Vanderslice said.

Overall, wages and benefits (up $269,442) account for the largest share of the total $730,231 budget increase. A reduction of nearly $439,000 in the Town’s required pension contribution is helping to offset overall wage increases of $368,508.

Utilities (up $171,295) represent another significant driver of the budget increase.

Vanderslice highlighted specific line items that could still change before a final budget is presented. Those line items include, among others: medical plan costs; general insurance costs; the Georgetown Fire District property tax; and revenues from supplemental auto taxes, building permits, and other sources.

Vanderslice also warned of potential risks to the budget from inflation, litigation and extreme weather events, as well as the ongoing shortage of police officers and legislative changes at the state level.

Next Steps

The selectmen will review Vanderslice’s budget proposal and submit questions, in writing, to be discussed prior to the selectmen voting to adopt the budget.

Tuesday, February 21: Regular BOS meeting to discuss budget proposal

Friday, March 3: Deadline for BOS (and BOE) to submit budgets to BOF

Monday, March 6: Regular BOS meeting

Tuesday, March 21: Public hearing on the BOS budget

Tuesday, April 11: Deadline for BOF to recommend a budget to bring to the Annual Town Meeting 

6 replies on “Vanderslice Proposes $34.7 Million Selectmen’s Budget with 2.15% Increase”

  1. Given all of the new construction and attendant increase in the Grand List, I would expect the BOF to not endorse any spending increase that results in property tax increases.

    1. The budget document noted the utilities include vehicle and building fuel and water in addition to electricity. The Town does meet 70% of municipal and school building electricity needs from solar power and participation in a virtual net metering (VNM) program.

      On Jan. 10, GMW reported on a presentation given by Chris Burney, who oversaw the solar/VPN program as DPW director, to the Board of Selectmen on the energy savings since 2018. Burney said that the Town has saved just over $740,000 — including roughly $240,000 from solar panels on Miller-Driscoll and Middlebrook schools’ rooftops and just over $500,000 from Wilton’s participation in virtual net metering.

      That still leaves 30% of electricity needs unmet. To avoid higher increases from Eversource, the Town recently changed electric suppliers .

    2. Rem, The Town met the 70% goal in early Jan 2020, when the shared virtual net metering systems went live. If you go back and look at the 2019 meeting materials provided for the decision on the VNM projects, at least 80% of VNM credits were to be awarded to the school buildings and thus the school budget. The actual amount that was awarded to the school buildings/budget was greater than the 80%. After the system went live, those savings were reflected in the BOE actual operating results and the next year’s BOE budget. A small amount of the savings were awarded to the municipal buildings, approximately $10,000 per year. You can see that on page 92 of the budget packet that is available on the town website here: Of course 100% of the roof top savings were awarded to the schools. If you have any additional questions, please email me at

  2. The second-largest expenditure category is “All Other Operating Expenses.”
    What kind of expenses are included?

    1. The chart on p. 10 of the budget document where you see that “All other” line is a summary of the items accounting for the budget increase. If you go to pages 11-12, you will see the breakdown by town department. The notes in the far right column are very helpful in explaining any increases and decreases. If you want all the line item detail on a particular department, use the table of contents in the budget document to find what you’re looking for.

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