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Easton Budgets Pass; Mill Rate Not Set

Joe Fallo of Easton thought the budgets he voted on Tuesday night were fair, and the majority of the town's voters agreed. But the Board of Finance may decide to increase the mill rate.

"I'm very uncomfortable changing the mill rate from what we projected to the public," said Elise Broach, member of the Board of Finance. After sending the budget to a vote, the Board of Finance discovered the town will owe about $200,000 of the principal payment on the Prayer Center property on South Park Avenue. The Board of Finance voted to table its decision to set the mill rate.

"How can you not have a $200,000 liability in the budget?" asked Easton resident Beverly Dacey. "If it's not the federal government taking out money, it's the state government. If it's not the state government, it's the town government. Everyone wants our money."

The town voted to buy the property on South Park Avenue with a lease-to-purchase option. The interest has been paid, and this is the first year to pay the principal payment of $307,000, said Broach. The town has more than $100,000 budgeted for the payment and needs an appropriation to pay the difference.

Options for the Board of Finance are to raise the mill rate, go to a special meeting in a month to appropriate the money, or wait until next year to add the money to the budget.

What do you think the Board of Finance should do? How do you feel about the board not knowing about this payment before setting the budget? Leave your comments below.

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