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Easton Voters Approve School Spending

EASTON, Conn. – Victorious budget votes in Easton and Redding assured not just the passage of the Easton annual town budget but the Regional School District 9 spending plan that funds Joel Barlow High School .

The school district budget, the second question on the Easton ballot, was approved by a 627-272 vote. The same question passed in Redding, 721-448, assuring implementation of the $22 million school district budget.

Had the vote not passed in Redding by a larger margin than it had won in Easton, the Regional School District 9 budget would have had to be rewritten and voted on again, said Grace Stancyzk, the Easton comptroller.

Easton also passed a $40.6 million town spending plan by a 646-254 margin.

Some 900 votes in Easton were counted. There are 4,999 registered voters in town.

Turnout was light, which was expected for a budget that will decline by 1.06 percent. “Keep Easton affordable,” comments that are ordinarily heard during a budget vote, were unnecessary this year.

The Board of Finance met after the polls closed to approve a mill rate of 29.1, which is an increase over the current rate of 22.9. But it won’t raise taxes for many residents because of the recent revaluation of property values, which dropped by an average of 23 percent. Properties that declined by 23 percent or more will see their taxes fall, while others would rise slightly. “It’s a wash,”  Stancyzk said.

The Region 9 school budget increases by 1.49 percent, but Redding will pay for the increases because Easton’s share actually drops by $333,182, or 3.19 percent. Easton’s drop is because its enrollment at Barlow declines next year, while Redding’s increases.

Easton school expenses covered in the town budget increased by 1.8 percent. They will fund staff increases at Staples Elementary School, where math and art teachers will be added.

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