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Easton Budget Vote Turnout Light

EASTON, Conn. - The Samuel Staples Elementary School auditorium in Easton was practically empty Tuesday afternoon, with voting on the 2012-13 town budget light.

The polls are open until 8 p.m. Voters are asked to approve two separate budgets: an annual town budget of $40,678,346 and a Regional School District No. 9 budget of $22,023,444. The District No. 9 budget covers Joel Barlow High School and is shared with Redding, which is also voting Tuesday.

The town budget dips 1.06 percent from the 2011-12 budget with a 1.49 percent increase in the District No. 9 budget, but Easton’s share of the District No. 9 budget dips 3.18 percent because Easton’s enrollment at Barlow drops for the next school year while Redding’s increases.

Grace Stanczyk, the Easton controller, said the decrease in the town budget can be attributed to a 13.4 percent drop in the debt service and a 1.56 cut in pension costs.

Sharon Stemme, the co-president of the Easton PTA, said the small increase in school expenditures will be used for staff additions, including art and math specialists at the elementary school. She also said savings accrued from the teachers' three year contract extension that mandated small .5 percent increases for 2012-13.

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