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Police Dept. & Library Board Seek More Funds

A quick recap of last night's Board of Apportionment & Taxation Budget Workshop

At last night's budget workshop, the following matters were discussed:

Animal Control

  • Police Chief Joel Hurliman reported that $123,893 was requested for animal control in Shelton, and Mayor Mark A. Lauretti recommended $119,759 be allocated. Hurliman said he had "no specific qualms" about that amount.

Police Department

  • The requested a $6.7 million budget, an increase from last fiscal year's $6.5 million.
  • "One thing I would not like to see cut would be personnel," said Hurliman. There are currently 50 officers sworn in, but the department would like to have 62.
  • "When we're down on the headcount, while salary costs might be lower, overtime costs build up," Hurliman said.
  • Hurliman said the department's main objectives are: increasing the force, upgrading the radio system, purchasing new cars and repairing emergency lights.

Library

  • Director Elspeth Lydon said she is concerned about the inventory of books available at both and libraries: "The business of library is books [...] When you cut the book line, it really puts question marks in the minds of people."
  • Lydon also said Lauretti cut the library's full time salary budget by $10,000 and that the Assistant Director position has been vacant since October 2008 because "the mayor doesn't want to fill it."
  • Lydon also said one thing she "will not compromise on" is the amount of money allocated to part-time salaries. She and Huntington Branch Director Shawn Fields reported that Shelton's part-time library staff is paid much less compared to those in surrounding towns. Fields said he would like to reward part-time employees with raises.

Highways & Bridges

  • A&T Vice Chairman Jimmy Tickey said in an e-mail that four full-time jobs and salaries are being funded, but no one is actually filling those positions.

Boards

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