To the editor:
Once again, against an ominous backdrop, the Town of Warren’s budget cycle quickly gathers lightning speed. The town council, keenly aware of the mounting economic problems and concerns, sits down in its chambers laboring to build a municipal budget that will likely not meet Warren’s needs. Recently, the town has struggled to survive the wounds sustained by a significant loss of state aid.
Improving deteriorating roads, fixing crumbling sidewalks, repairing leaky sewer lines and ensuring public safety all while keeping costs down are the council’s main objectives. Unfortunately, the choice to hold the school budget in check is a decisive, albeit contentious, keystone to controlling the Town of Warren’s overall municipal budget.
However, there is hope! Several members of the Joint Finance Committee have emphatically stated that they are willing to assist the Town of Warren. In fact, the treasurer, manager and members of the council have carefully reviewed the funding formula for the local contributions from member towns and discovered a startling revelation (see story on page 1).
The new state funding formula and the district’s enabling legislation indicate the proper proportional allocation of state aid shall be divided on a per pupil basis. This approach meets the legislative intent of assisting communities on the basis of real need. In the past, the Bristol Warren Regional School District simply threw all the state aid into a large pot and split in half.
Instead, the funding formula analysis for 2015 points out that the Town of Warren shall receive $5,442 per student and the Town of Bristol shall receive $2,897 per student. The adoption of this will afford the Town of Warren not only the opportunity to meet our basics need, but flourish.
If the school district abides by the law and incorporates this model into building the school district’s budget, it will relieve the Town of Warren of burden — approximately $2,054,790. This first step will allow us to effectively manage the tax rate while also enriching our children’s education.
Ultimately, incorporating the new funding formula will allow Warren to bear witness to a renaissance wherein we can expand our local economy, reinvest in our infrastructure and improve our quality of life.
Mr. Stanley is president of the Warren Town Council.
To the editor: