Beacon Falls budget fails at town meeting

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After overflowing the senior center, Beacon Falls residents packed into Beacon Hose Co. No. 1 Wednesday night, where they rejected the town's proposed budget.
After overflowing the senior center, Beacon Falls residents packed into Beacon Hose Co. No. 1 Wednesday night, where they rejected the town's proposed budget.

BEACON FALLS — Voters at a town meeting Wednesday night rejected a $5.95 million municipal budget by a 139-83 tally. The proposed budget represented a $476,554, or 8.7 percent, increase over the current budget

The meeting was scheduled to take place at the senior center but had to be moved to Beacon Hose Co. No. 1, next door, because of a larger-than-expected turnout. It followed an April 20 public hearing, at which the roughly 30 residents in attendance voiced few objections to the proposed spending hike. Based on the support the plan received that night, an admittedly surprised Board of Finance elected to trim only $38,500 and send the budget to town meeting.

But on Wednesday, several residents spoke out against the spending plan, which coupled with the $36.6 million Region 16 school budget approved at Tuesday’s referendum, would have increased the town’s mill rate by an estimated 1.7 mills. Those voicing concerns included former First Selectman Leonard D’Amico.

The Board of Finance will now review the budget, make additional cuts and seek public approval once again.