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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Westports Legislative Body Approves Town Budget

Westports Representative Town Meeting has given preliminary approval to a $46.1 million budget for the town portion of spending for the next fiscal year, a 2.65 percent increase.

Formal approval of the amount, along with consideration of the Board of EducationҒs requested $70 million operating budget, a 5.09 percent increase over last year, will come tonight.

First Selectwoman Diane Farrell told the RTM at Monday night’s session that she anticipated that the town’s tax increase for the next fiscal year will be under 10 percent, less than originally expected.

She cited a jump in revenues from real estate transfers as well as a higher than anticipated increase in the town’s grand list.

The towns Board of Finance approved the budget amounts last month and recommended approval to the RTM.

Update: The RTM, by unanimous vote, formally approved both the town and education budgets Tuesday night. An attempt to reduce the education budget by $117,300 failed 25-9.

Former RTM member Michael Gilbertie told the session he would start a petition drive for a referendum to reduce the approved amount by $5 million. He has two weeks to collect the required 1,592 signatures.



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