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$600,000+ deficit projected for Norwalk's 2019 budget

By JOE CENTERS • Nov 15, 2018 at 1:00 PM

It was all about the numbers at Tuesday night’s Norwalk City Council work session.

The main topic was the budget as Finance Director Michelle Reeder went through the numbers, highlighting the big areas.

She expects expenses in 2019 to come in at about $8.2 million, with $5.7 million of that going to salaries. Reeder estimates the revenues at $7.6 million, with more than $5 million of that coming from income tax.

That leaves a projected deficit of more than $600,000 for next year. There is more than $2 million in the city’s reserve cash fund.

Reeder reported there will be an estimated 11.38 increase in insurance, pushing the total to $1.1 million for insurance in 2019.

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan expects the budget to be balanced once all is said and done.

“This (a proposed deficit) happens every year,” Duncan said. “We always get it worked out.”

Council will continue its budget discussion at Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. meeting in council chambers.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Joe Lindenberger talked about using some of the money from the park and recreation land acquisition and physical improvement fund for parking lot improvement and to update equipment. The money in the fund comes from a fee collected when new houses and structures are built.

Council President Steve Euton said the money was originally earmarked for park development or green spaces, but Lindenberger said that unlikely will happen.

“The biggest thing is we are pretty strapped with what we have,” he said. “Norwalk is blessed with what we have.”

Also, zoning officer Mitch Loughton talked about amending zoning language for brewpubs and microbreweries.

“There is no interest of having a brewpub,” Loughton said. “It is in our best interest to have this in the code now.”

Everything discussed Tuesday will be back up for discussion at Tuesday’s regular session beginning at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers.

Norwalk Fire Chief John Soisson said things are going well following the official move last Wednesday into the new fire station.

When asked about any problems in the first week, Soisson pointed out the garage doors that don’t want to close and the move from communications going from hard-wired equipment to microwaved transmission.

“It will be two to three weeks before we get everything worked out,” he said.

Soisson reminded everybody of the ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Everybody is asked to park in the Pat Catan’s or Ace Hardware lots.

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