Video: Ansonia Aldermen Talk Budget, Snow

Ansonia Aldermen voted on $1.4 million in adjustments to the city’s budget at their monthly meeting last Tuesday (Jan. 9).

The adjustments did not result in any change to the city’s property tax rate.

Click play on the video above to watch the Aldermen’s budget discussion, which begins about 42 minutes into the video with a summary by Rich Bshara, the city’s assistant comptroller.

The vote reflected the continuing fallout from last year’s protracted state budget process, which left local officials guessing about state aid levels.

In distressed communities like Ansonia, state money adds up to tens of millions of dollars, and is vitally important, especially to the city’s public schools.

The adjustments voted on by the Aldermen decrease the school board’s budget this year by $600,000.

City officials said the decrease is offset by more than $1 million of increases in education grants since Aldermen initially set the budget last June.

The adjustments also included taking $943,149 from the city’s fund balance.

Rich Bshara, the city’s assistant comptroller, said that would decrease the city’s rainy day fund to about $5 million, but that he hoped the number would return to about $6 million by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list handed out at the meeting of all the budget adjustments.

And click here to read every story the Valley Indy published about the budget.

After Bshara’s summary, the Aldermen asked him questions and talked about the budget before voting 12-1 to approve the adjustments.

Second Ward Alderman Phil Tripp voted no, saying the school board should have been consulted more.

(The school board was scheduled to discuss the budget at a meeting last Wednesday (Jan. 10), but minutes from the meeting haven’t yet been published.)

First Ward Alderman Dan King abstained from the vote because he had voted on the matter in his capacity as chairman of the city’s tax board.

Here’s a recap of other matters discussed during the Aldermen’s meeting:

  • About 3 minutes in, Mayor David Cassetti commends the city’s public works and police departments for their work during a snowstorm the previous week.
  • The mayor also said Assessor Marsha Benno is finalizing the a revaluation to the city’s grand list which will result in an increase of $91 million on the city’s tax rolls.
  • About 8 minutes, 30 seconds in the video, First Ward Alderman Charles Stowe asks the city’s corporation counsel, John Marini, to explain whether King, who was appointed at a special meeting, would have to resign his post on the tax board.
  • Around the 10-minute mark Economic Development Director and Grants Writer Sheila O’Malley gives an update about the demolition of Peck School, plans to rebuild Wakelee Avenue, and brickwork at the Ansonia Armory.
  • About 15 minutes in, Constituent Services Director Greg Martin recounts the opening of the “winter playground” at Linnet Park and says a grand opening of Eddy’s Bake Shop on Main Street under new ownership will occur in a few weeks.
  • Around the 20-minute mark Bshara says the city’s audit is being finalized and also gives an update on some bonds that will be issued to pay for infrastructure projects.
  • About 24 minutes in Police Chief Kevin Hale talks about the previous week’s snowstorm, during which he said 76 cars were towed for violating a parking ban.
  • Around the 26-minute mark Public Works Director Mike D’Alessio gives an update regarding the storm, and says his budget for plowing and salting roads is “dwindling.”

Ansonia Budget Adjustments by The Valley Indy on Scribd

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