June 29, 2022

Deep River Voters Approve $14.77 Million Budget Plan at Meeting Vote

DEEP RIVER— Voters at a town meeting Monday approved a $14,779,461 town/schools spending plan for 2013-2014. The budget was approved on a 48-12 paper ballot vote in the first town meeting vote on a town budget since 2000.

The budget appeared to win approval on a voice vote only minutes after it was presented, with no questions or discussion from the crowd. But First Selectman Richard Smith asked for a paper ballot vote based on a public commitment made by the selectmen and finance board when the panels decided last month not to schedule a referendum vote on the budget. Some voters said they were not aware the voice vote was the final deciding vote on the spending plan.

Deep River has been voting on budgets by referendum since a contentious budget season in 2001. But declining voter turnouts in the annual referendums led the board of selectmen to decide last month to return to a town meeting vote on the budget.

The budget plan includes a $4,094,439 town government budget that includes $348,060 in debt service and $43,000 for capital expenditures. The total spending package also includes a $5,511,158 appropriation for Deep River Elementary School, and the town’s $5,160,924 share of the Region 4 education budget that was approved in a May 7 referendum. The total spending package will require a 0.40 increase in theĀ  tax rate, for a 2013-2014 tax rate of 25.08 mills. The new rate represents $25.08 in tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value.