WILTON – With the Nov. 7 elections behind them, members of the Wilton Town Board voted this week to approve an $8.2 million budget for the 2018 fiscal year.
The three largest expenditures in Wilton are $1.7 million for government support; $1.3 million for employee benefits, and $1.2 million for culture and recreation. The spending plan also includes $900,000 for road improvements in Wilton, and additional funds for a town salary increase of $2,800 plus bathroom upgrades at the popular Gavin Park.
Supervisor Arthur Johnson praised town board members and Comptroller Jeffrey Reale for ensuring that Wilton does not impose a general town tax, which has been the case for 36 years. The town derives 75 percent of its revenue from retail sales taxes.
During a budget workshop on Oct. 18, Councilwoman Joanne Klepetar had discussed reinstating the funds for a town planner position in Wilton.
At the Nov. 9 meeting, Klepetar made a motion to amend the town budget to allocate those funds, following several minutes of related comments made by Nancy Dwyer, who earlier in the week had lost in her campaign to unseat Johnson as supervisor.
Councilman John McEachron voiced his concern about Wilton's low "growth rate," which he said does not currently justify spending money on a town planner.
"If the need arises, I'd absolutely be for it," McEachron added.
Klepetar's motion did not receive a required second, which negated her budget amendment proposal.
The town board then approved next year's $8.2 million spending plan, with only Klepetar opposed.