Milford budget hearing adjourns after five minutes, no comments

The Milford Board of Aldermen adjourn the April 14 budget hearing after five minutes and 24 seconds.

The Milford Board of Aldermen adjourn the April 14 budget hearing after five minutes and 24 seconds.

Zoom screen capture

MILFORD — A planned public hearing into the city’s 2021-22 municipal budget adjourned after less than six minutes April 14 after the Board of Aldermen opened the floor for public comment and not a single person raised their hand.

Chairman Philip Vetro adjourned the meeting after five minutes and 24 seconds when no member of the public spoke about either the school or town services budget. Most of that time was taken up reading the meeting rules and calling the attendance roll. The board also received no emailed comments, either individually or through the board’s general inbox.

Mayor Ben Blake’s chief of staff Justin Rosen said the situation was unusual because normally the budget and potential tax rate draws at least a few comments.

“There’s usually a few people who speak during the meetings; it was odd,”Rosen said.

Board members did not immediately return messages regarding the lack of public comment.

The board is holding the budget hearings for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. According to the Board of Finance recommended budget, the entire city and board of education expenditures for 2021-22 are $221.89 million. Just under $100 million of that is earmarked for the school system, the rest for the remaining town departments.

Funding the budget would require a mill rate of 27.67, slightly less than the current year’s 27.68. That means a homeowner with a house assessed at $250,000 will see their property taxes decrease by $25.

During its delibrations, the board is scheduled to meet with all 54 town departments. The Board of Education, the largest single line item, is scheduled for April 21. The last meeting is scheduled for April 26 when the Milford Arts Council and Police Department, among others, will present their budget proposals.

The board is scheduled to vote on the city’s 2021-22 budget April 28, although depending on deliberations the vote could be delayed until as late as May 10.

All meetings are taking place via Zoom at 7 p.m. To watch the meetings follow the links on the Board of Aldermen section of the city website, ci.milford.ct.us.