NORTH STONINGTON — The Board of Selectmen have started work on a budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, meeting with the Board of Finance last week and at another special meeting on Thursday.
“We’ve received all the revenue information and now we’re in the process of starting to go line-by-line in each department for the requests,” Selectman Nita Kincaid said.
First Selectman Mike Urgo said the goal is to have a budget propoal ready early this year, allowing time to adjust it if state funding changes. Urgo said last week that the town could see a $108,000 drop in revenue from the state.
On Thursday, the selectmen heard from the Economic Development Commission, and the Public Works, Planning and Zoning and Building Departments.
The economic commission is putting forth a proposal for a beautification program for Route 2, among other plans. Its budget this year is $11,159.
“I was driving and realized how rough some of the areas looked with trash,” EDC Chairman Brett Mastroianni said.
The EDC also wants to put up signage promoting the town on the rotary at the intersection of Routes 2 and 184, and perhaps install some plantings.
The group also wants to include funds for a North Stonington farmers market, which has been on the agenda for the past several EDC meetings.
Urgo said, “We’re trying to get the farmers market going for summer.”
The Planning and Zoning and Building departments are preparing to raise fees for the first time in more than a decade. Those changes would need to be voted on at a town meeting.
“We’re way off base on what we’ve been charging and can’t cover our costs,” Urgo said.
Public Works, which has a $1.7 million budget this year, has no major proposed increases.
An early budget decision would be a departure in North Stonington. The town approved its current $12.87 million education budget in December and the $6.38 million municipal budget Nov. 27.