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Morris referendum will be fifth on a proposed budget
Litchfield.bz (03-04-18)


Morris voters will have yet another chance to approve a proposed town budget for 2017-18 when they consider a spending plan of $9,409,902 in a referendum on March 15.
 
The proposed budget is the same one voters rejected in a referendum in February, 233-229. The March 15 referendum will be the fifth on a proposed budget since June 2017.
 
The proposed budget is $329,589, or 3.6 percent, higher than the 2016-17 budget of $9,080,213.
 
Following the most recent referendum, the Board of Finance cut $76,754 in municipal spending from the defeated budget to drop municipal spending to 2016-17 levels. But after a public hearing on the new proposal two weeks ago, the finance board voted to restore the cuts and bring the same budget plan back to the voters.
 
The referendum was scheduled by the Board of Selectmen, which saved Selectman Vincent Aiello and others from having to collect the signatures of 200 voters needed to force a referendum. Hours for the vote will be noon to 8 p.m.
 
The tax rate under the proposed budget would be 28.65 mills, an increase of .82 mills over the current rate of 27.83 mills. The proposal includes $2,774,552 for municipal expenses and $6,635,650 for the Region 6 Board of Education budget for 2017-18.
 
The finance board took action in the wake of its chairman, Scott Pottbecker, resigning from the board after the fourth referendum. Pottbecker said it’s time for someone else to lead the board. He also cited his professional responsibilities in his decision to step down.
 
Residents will have a final chance to comment on the proposed budget during a town meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. The meeting will be adjourned to the referendum.