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Redding: Recount needed

June 6, 2018 GMT

REDDING — Officials will recount the nearly 2,400 votes cast Tuesday after the budget unofficially failed by four votes.

The overall $49.3 million budget failed 1,188 to 1,184.

The spending plan includes $14.7 million for the Board of Selectmen, $21.2 million for the Redding Board of Education and Redding’s $13.4 million share of the Region 9 budget.

“Given the close vote, we’re on the right track but it wasn’t enough,” First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton said. “Now we’ll sharpen our pencils and go back.”

This $14.7 million budget would have translated to a 2.31 percent tax increase.

Meanwhile, Region 9’s $24.2 million budget passed in Redding and Easton, meaning it will not be sent back to voters if a new budget referendum is needed for the town. Redding approved it 1,225 to 1,143.

Voters originally rejected the overall $49.9 million budget 1,330 to 808 on May 8. Because residents vote on all three budgets as one item, it’s difficult to say which of the budgets caused the referendum to fail. Voters also rejected the overall Region 9 budget then.

Contractual salary increases and other fixed costs were the biggest drivers in the budgets. The Redding Board of Education is also facing increased transportation and special education costs.

Following the failed vote, all three boards reduced their budgets.

The selectmen reduced their budget by about $56,000. About $50,000 of that is covered by savings in health insurance costs.

The Redding schools’ budget is less than the failed $21.5 million budget, but still about 2.31 percent higher than the current budget.

Region 9, which acts as its own finance board, reduced its budget by about $300,000.

Redding’s share of the Region 9 budget is now 5.27 percent higher, and the overall budget is about 1.9 percent more than the current budget.

kkoerting@newstimes.com; 203-731-3345