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Process continues after 82 percent of Avon voters reject proposed budget

AVON, May 17, 2024 – The town of Avon’s proposed budget of $116.08 million for the 2024-25 fiscal year was soundly rejected in a budget referendum on Wednesday, May 15, by more than 1,000 votes.

The budget was voted down by a margin of 1,378 to 299 votes, the largest margin to defeat the budget since at least 1999. The budget was defeated by a margin of 82.1 percent to 17.8 percent.

Since 1999, the proposed town budget has been defeated seven times, according to information from the town on their website. The last time a budget proposal was defeated was in 2008. Wednesday’s turnout of 1,677 voters was the largest since 2011.

A second budget referendum has been scheduled for Friday, June 7.

The initial 2024-25 proposed budget of $116.08 million called for an increase in spending of 5.44 percent and a 3.3 percent tax increase, according to documents posted on the town website. The proposed general government budget was $31.0 million, up 4.25 percent with the Board of Education’s proposed budget of $72.2 million, up 4.90 percent. The proposed budget also called for $6.5 million in capital improvement projects.

What are the next steps for the budget?

A three-board workshop will be held Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. in the meeting room at Fire Company No. 1 on 25 Darling Drive. The Town Council, Board of Finance and Board of Education will meet to determine a proposed budget that will be presented to residents on May 28 at a public hearing.

According to the town, there is no opportunity for public comment at the budget workshop. The meeting agenda with a virtual meeting link (GotoMeeting) will be posted on the Board of Finance webpage www.avonct.gov/board-of-finance.

The Board of Finance will host a public hearing on Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. at the Avon Senior Center on the proposed budget as determined from the May 20 budget workshop.

The proposed budget will be presented and the members of the public attending the public hearing at the Avon Senior Center will have an opportunity to make comments. The hearing will be streamed at GotoMeeting but comments will not be taken from the online audience.

Immediately following the adjournment of the public hearing, the Board of Finance will hold a special meeting to finalize the budget that will be presented on the second referendum ballot.

To view the public hearing online, go to GotoMeeting and access the meeting. Residents can also access the meeting by phone by dialing 1-866-899-4679 and entering access code 708-668-213.

Documents for the town budget can be found on the town website.

Avon Board of Education

Avon Board of Finance

Avon Town Council

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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