Greenwich Estimate and Taxation Board to Dig into Proposed $464 Million Municipal Budget

GREENWICH — The proposed spending plan for Greenwich will be considered at what is expected to be a day-long meeting of the Estimates and Taxation Board on Tuesday.

The BET will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss all aspects of the proposed $464 million municipal budget for 2022-23. A final vote will take place on the budget after all motions on any cuts, reductions or conditions on the City’s spending plan have been heard.

On Monday, BET members estimated there could be as many as 90 motions.

If the BET does not end on Tuesday, it will resume at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. The BET was originally scheduled to vote on the budget plan on March 31, but not all of its members were available, so they pushed back the vote to Tuesday.

A complicating factor in the budget is the availability of $31 million in US bailout funds. Some projects that would have been part of the city’s municipal budget could now be paid for with federal ARP funding.

The BET’s budget debate has been contentious in recent years. In 2021, the council’s majority Republicans used their deciding vote to approve the budget after all Democrats voted against it in protest at what they said was a lack of investment in the city’s public schools. Republicans used the deciding vote to avoid what was called the “nuclear option” of not passing a budget. Republicans still have that power — if needed — on the evenly-divided 12-member council.

The schools are expected to be a contentious topic again, particularly when it comes to funding renovations at Old Greenwich School and Julian Curtiss School. While the budget committee backed work at Old Greenwich School, which has accessibility issues and ADA flooding, there may be questions about plans for the Julian Curtiss School. It is possible that not all planned renovations and expansions will be funded.

The budget has changed significantly since it was proposed, with a new Central Middle School moved to the start of the line after the building was closed for two weeks in February for emergency repairs.

The Republican City Committee weighed in on the budget on Monday, issuing a statement in which it opposes plans to add more bumps to Greenwich Avenue, which first coach Fred Camillo supports, and to convert a field from Cos Cob basketball in pickleball field.

“The overwhelming majority (of respondents to an RTC survey) would like BET to focus on responsible capital spending involving schools, infrastructure and public safety and adhere to the $70 million capital guideline. dollars,” the RTC said. “There was strong opposition to ‘non-essential’ projects such as the construction of moguls on Greenwich Avenue and pickleball courts.”

The RTC said it supported investment in infrastructure and schools, including Central, Old Greenwich and parts of Julian Curtiss such as ADA and HVAC improvements.

Other projects closely watched for a vote on Tuesday include sidewalks on Shore Road, improvements to the Glenville corridor and pedestrian and traffic safety measures in Byram.

The Representative Municipal Assembly will vote on the municipal budget on May 9.

[email protected]