AFTER 2006 ATBM (FY'07) REPORT:  Moderator (Parliamentarian not shown) and Chair. of the Board of Finance keep people on track and run votes on items in FY07 proposed budget at ATBM. 
At Weston High School cafeteria - over two and one-half hours of complaints and comments on individual items, and a lot of "yes" votes (including Board of Education budget) PLUS one cut to the Capital Budget (Lachat $450,000) - eventual standing count (definite "no" to proposed amount, standing count "no" to $100,000...so zero is the final number - the third option).

FORUM report...including our link to the Town of Weston website page with the official numbers, if online numbers can ever be considered "official" -
http://www.westonct.gov/31752/22896

Budget gets nod: ATBM approves all requests except $450,000 for Lachat
Weston FORUM
by BRIAN GIOIELE
Apr 20, 2006

The Annual Town Budget Meeting approved the 2006-07 fiscal year budget, minus the proposed $450,000 that would have been earmarked for development of the Lachat nature center.

With the removal of the $450,000, the total town budget for the coming fiscal year stands at $57,741,871. The Annual Town Budget Meeting easily voted for the town budget ($9,792,191) and the Board of Education number ($40,051,557). It was during the capital improvement budget, specifically the proposed Lachat nature center item, that talk turned more intense.

Several people spoke against the proposed payment for the center, many saying they were not against such a center at the property but wanted the townspeople to have more input in the development, which has been spearheaded by the Nature Conservancy.

After an hour of debate, the meeting, by voice vote, rejected a motion to approve the entire $450,000.

The next vote was on a motion to allocate $100,000 — which would cover half of the cost that Devil’s Den Director Steve Patton told the audience the conservancy had already spent to date. That was defeated by a vote of 100 opposed, 68 in favor. With both those motions defeated, the final motion — which was to allocate no money at all — was accepted.

This vote came after Ken Bernhard, town attorney, told those in attendance that, in his opinion, the town would be breaking its agreement with the Nature Conservancy to cover half of the cost of the proposed $3-million project.

Mr. Bernhard said the town runs the risk of having to pay 4% interest on all unpaid amounts, but many residents said they felt that since no work has been done, and no plans are presently even before the town’s zoning board, there is no reason to simply approve $450,000 and place it in an account for some future use.










NOTE:  Change in proposed budget (below) because $450,000 item removed at ATBM 2006 from Capital Improvement Budget FY07.  "%change FY06 to FY07" now should read 3.17%, with %change in the Capital Improvement line of 86.47%.

For those who follow Board of Finance activities closely, there was a change in the Captial Improvement budget to $1,323,180 (result of removing the $450,000 item for Lachat Education Center) - which then made the Gross Budget $57,741,871 and the Net Budget $54,474,402 and thus the mil rate for 2006-2007 fiscal year is...22.75