May 9, 2021

Voters Approve $16.99 Million Region 4 Budget

REGION 4— The $16.99 million Region 4 education budget won easy approval Tuesday in a referendum that generated a sparse voter turnout.

The $16,992,527 spending plan was approved 520-312 after eight hours of voting in the district towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex. The budget carried in Deep River, 146-63, and Essex, 292-111, while voters in Chester opposed the budget on a 138-82 vote.

Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh had called for a reduction in the spending plan at the April 8 budget hearing that attracted only a handful of residents, but the Region 4 Board of Education decided to make no changes to the budget it adopted in March.

The total turnout of voters in the three towns, 832, was down sharply from the 1,054 referendum turnout last year, where voters of the three towns approved the budget on a 974-680 vote. A total of 403 voters turned out in Essex, compared to 733 last year. The turnout of 209 in Deep River was down from 319 in 2009. The Chester turnout of 220 was down from 602 last year, when Chester voters also opposed the budget.