The Town Council unanimously passed Mayor Laura R. Hoydick’s proposed Fiscal Year 2024 operating budget for the Town of Stratford last night.
Mayor Hoydick commented, “I would like to thank the Town Council for passing our Town’s budget, and to our Town departments for taking a collaborative, sound, and pragmatic approach to this budget. While the current economic climate proved challenging when balancing the Town’s services and the burden placed on our tax paying citizens, I am proud that we were able to keep the first increase in over five years to a minimum, at a 1.88% increase in taxable rate. This is a .74 increase in the mill rate from last year, to 40.20. This budget allows the Town to efficiently and effectively serve the people of Stratford.”
Prior to yesterday, the Town Council held off from voting on the Mayor’s proposed budget while awaiting final passage of the State budget, with hope this would include increased funding for Stratford Public Schools. With the news on Wednesday that the State would not be providing additional funds to Stratford’s schools this coming fiscal year, the Mayor worked with the Town Council to make available an additional $1 million for Stratford Public Schools.
The Mayor touched upon the timing of the Council vote. “As I mentioned, when I first proposed the Town ’23-’24 operating budget to the Town Council, we were hoping to have more insight into the Governor’s proposed, and now approved, State budget before moving forward. While it is unfortunate we did not see an increase in funding for our schools from the State, I am very happy that the Town Council resolution to make $1 million available for use by Stratford Public Schools passed unanimously.” Council Chair Pia noted, “Upon hearing the details of the approved State budget, we were all in agreement that it was our responsibility to find a way to provide additional funds for Stratford Public Schools.” Combined with the initially proposed $1.7 million from the Town and over $2 million from the Alliance fund, the Mayor is hopeful that the Board of Education will take the necessary steps when managing their budget to ensure positions are kept and programs are continuous. It is also important to note that the approved State budget includes $4 million in ECS funding for Stratford Public Schools in the following fiscal year, 2024-2025. Mayor Hoydick added, “I thank our legislators and the Governor for such support in the second year of the State’s approved budget and, in the meantime, am glad the Town is able to provide this through ARPA funds.”
Mayor Hoydick concluded, “I am confident this budget will help all of us continue to move Stratford forward and am grateful every day for having the honor and privilege of serving as Mayor of this beautiful Town. There are many bright days ahead, and I look forward to continuing to work with Town leaders and the residents of our great community.”
The FY 2024 budget will go into effect July 1st, 2023.