SOUTHWICK – Budget talks have begun in Southwick.
The Select Board last week had a preliminary discussion with Department of Public Works Director Randy Brown on what he will be asking for in his Fiscal Year 2021 budget request.
The Board meets with the Finance Committee for joint hearings in marathon Saturday sessions with every department to review budget requests.
The first session is Feb. 22. The Board will begin meetings at 8 a.m. with the Board of Assessors and will continue until 11:05 a.m. with the Southwick Fire Department. Most reviews are slated for 10-15 minutes, however, 30 minutes is allotted for the DPW at 9:45 a.m., 25 minutes for Park and Recreation at 10:40 a.m. and 40 minutes for Southwick Fire.
Other departments meeting Feb. 22 include the Historical Commission, Economic Development, Library Trustees, Planning Board, Town Accountant, Computer system Administrator, Lake Management and Water Commission.
The second session is March 7 beginning at 8 a.m. with the Town Clerk and ending with the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School Department at 11 a.m. for 45 minutes. The Southwick Police will also meet March 7 for 45 minutes at 9:55 a.m.
Other departments scheduled for March 7 are the Board of Health, Community Preservation Committee, Conservation Commission, Council on Aging, Cultural Council, Cemetery Commission, Building Inspector, Emergency Management, Buildings and Grounds and Animal Control.
Last week, Brown presented what he will likely request in the Feb. 22 hearing. For the most part, he said the numbers remain the same as the current year. However, there are increases expected, including $1 million in paving and infrastructure improvements, $454,000 for road machinery (a tractor with mower, hot box and dump truck), and an increase in refuse fees from $236,000 to $305,000, among others.
“There are some bigger ticket items,” Brown said.
The public is welcome to observe the sessions, which take place at Southwick Town Hall, 454 College Highway, in the Land Use Room.