Today, the Town of Wilton approved the proposed FY2020 Budget of $126,787,380 with a mill rate increase of 1.24%. In addition to the budget, all four referendum questions passed. This budget represents a zero percent increase for the town and school operating budgets, which had been reduced by the Board of Finance prior to voting. The BOS budget was cut by $309,305 and included reductions to known short term vacancies, sand purchases, legal expenses, medical expenses, and the purchase of a hotbox. The Board of Education’s original 1.35% budget increase was cut by $1.1 million.

Voting took place twice this week at the Clune Center. Once on Tuesday night, where 200 votes were cast following the town meeting, and a second time on Saturday, May 11th where voters cast the remaining votes. There were a total of 1328 votes which represent a 10.94% voter turnout rate. According to the town’s charter, if less than 15% of eligible voters vote, then the budget automatically passes.

Wilton’s Approved FY2020 Budget is as follows:

Total Operating Budget of $126,787,380
• Board of Selectmen Operating Budget: $33,501,999
• Board of Education Operating Budget: $81,876,563
• Debt Services: $10,153,497
• Charter Authority: $1,255,321

The following referendum proposals passed:

Question #1 Voters approved the town budget: “Approved” 892; “Rejected, too high” 395; “Rejected, too low” 40
Question #2 $3,398,150 Road and Parking Lot Restoration, passed by a vote of 1077 to 239
Question #3 $350,000 Town Hall Roof Replacement, passed by a vote of 1093 to 226
Question #4 $600,000 School District Roof Replacement Program, passed by a vote of 1112 to 209
Question #5 $1,300,000 Bridge Replacement Program, passed by a vote of 1054 to 262

It is unclear why voter turnout was so low, but possible contributing factors may include flat budgets, multiple town center activities, and Mother’s Day weekend. First Selectwoman, Lynne Vanderslice, said that she remembers voter turnout being 18% when she was first elected to office, but that turnout numbers have since declined, yearly.

Official ballot numbers will be posted this evening on the town’s website by Registrars Karen Birck and Annalisa Stravato, both of whom, along with their team and volunteers, did a wonderful job coordinating and monitoring the polls.