The Town of Middletown has an updated budget schedule.
Earlier this week, the Town Council approved a revised calendar to handle the proposed Fiscal 2023 budget, including public hearings on Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 23. Both sessions where people will have an opportunity to comment on any aspect of the budget are planned for 6 pm in Town Hall.
Typically, the council is coming into the final stages of its annual budget review and adoption process. However, because of overspending issues by the School Department and the resulting fallout, that timeline has been pushed back by about a month.
“I know we’re all looking forward to rolling out our budget package for Fiscal 2023 soon,” Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown said. “The way it stands now, there are some exciting new additions and overall, the proposed numbers continue to move Middletown forward in a positive direction while addressing the shortcomings in the school figures.”
According to the latest timeline, the Town Council is slated to officially receive the proposed Fiscal 2023 budget at its Monday, May 16 meeting at 6:30 pm in Town Hall.
From there, the council will sit down and meet with the School Department on Wednesday, March 18 at 6 pm in Town Hall.
The traditional Saturday all department budget review is planned for June 4 starting at 8 am in Town Hall. Historically, the council has used this session to quiz department heads and staff in depth about their budgets, the necessity of spending and anything else financial.
Then, the council has a budget review planned on Monday, June 6 at 6 pm in Town Hall, the same night as the group’s first regular meeting in June.
That’s followed by the two public hearings, where anyone can offer input, insight and critiques on the overall budget or any aspect of the numbers.
Once the proposed Fiscal 2023 budget is live, people will be able to check it out at any time at https://mdl.town/Budget online. Hard copies will also be available for review during normal business hours at the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall, 350 East Main Road, the Middletown Public Library, 700 West Main Road and the Senior Center at 650 Green End Ave.
“Every year, the budget is one of the most important things we do as a Town,” the town administrator Brown said. “It sets our priorities for the coming year and provides a clear roadmap about where we are and where we’re heading.”
And despite some of the difficulties leading into budget season with the educational spending, Brown said he anticipated another positive budget for Middletown.
Brown said the use of close to $5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding adds another layer to the mix, something that will also shake out over the next couple weeks.
The addition of the new Tiered Residential Tax Program also creates another consideration, a program implemented earlier this year by the council to give full-time residents a bit of a break on their taxes. The deadline to apply for that benefit was May 2. To date, the council has not set the TRTP split yet, but local leaders have said it will be “reasonable” and the Town wasn’t looking to gouge anyone.
“This year, as everyone knows, there are a lot of moving pieces with this budget,” Brown said. “We’re still working on putting it all together and when we roll it out, I think it will be a fair budget that everyone can be proud of and that continues to move Middletown in a positive direction.”