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Selectmen Authorize Budget Ballot Questions

Published: April 9, 2018

Besides approving or rejecting the proposed municipal and education budgets at the annual referendum Tuesday, April 24, residents will be asked to authorize two bonding authorizations.

During a brief Board of Selectmen meeting April 2, the officials approved placing the two questions on the ballot.

Voters will be asked to authorize Newtown bonding $1.5 million to supplement operating budget expenditures dedicated to road repairs and improvements, along with a separate authorization to bond $1,685,400 to replace the Middle Gate School roof.

Polls will be open at Newtown Middle School from 6 am to 8 pm on April 24, and Town Clerk Debbie Halstead expects absentee budget ballots to be available on Friday, April 6, for any qualified taxpayer or voter with conflicts, or who will be unable to cast a ballot in person on referendum day.

Following the selectmen’s meeting, First Selectman Dan Rosenthal told The Newtown Bee that residents should anticipate a special referendum later in the year requesting the full anticipated spending authorization for a new police headquarters.

Mr Rosenthal said that police officials are working with project professionals now completing a space needs assessment, and are also still examining several possible sites for the new facility.

The first selectman said he anticipates all preliminary work to that end will be completed by around June 1, at which time he will work with the parties involved to determine a complete construction cost figure that will be put forth to voters.

Mr Rosenthal said he does not plan to hold any referendum on the police station spending as a stand-alone vote, instead opting to either put the question on ballots during anticipated state primaries on August 14, or if necessary, on ballots for the November mid-term and local elections, November 6.

“The last thing I want to do is go to the taxpayers with a project that does not have a complete and solid budget,” he said, adding that a similar project in neighboring Bethel ended up coming back before voters, requesting more money after an initial authorized spending plan fell short of final project costs.

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