January 28, 2022
FIRST SELECTMAN’S ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET
After diligently working with Department Heads and the Finance Director, I have finalized my budget and released it to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance to review. This year brought us many challenges including another increase in the State minimum wage, new mandates such as the Police Accountability Bill, staggering inflationary pressures impacting the cost of gasoline and diesel and the labor market. Despite all of these challenges, we have managed to develop a fiscally responsible budget without reducing the quality of Town services. We will be holding joint Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance meetings in February to review and discuss the budget. I look forward to continuing the process of creating a comprehensive financial plan that provides exceptional services and meets departmental, capital and infrastructure needs.
WINTER STORM PREPARATION
The Public Works Department and Emergency Management Department have been working hard this week to prepare for the winter storm impacting Connecticut late tonight and continuing until late Saturday night. Heavy snowfall of 12-18 inches is expected with wind gusts up to 55mph causing poor visibility, white out conditions and potential power outages and flooding. The Public Works Department is stocked up on salt and has the plows ready. I ask residents to please stay home and off the roads as travel will be dangerous with snow accumulating at 1-2 inches per hour. The Town is prepared to work with Eversource to respond to power outages and asks residents to make preparations in their households for potential outages. We will be providing more updates as the storm progresses. Please stay home and stay safe.
The Town has begun the state-mandated revaluation program that occurs every five years. Revaluation is the process of equalizing the value of properties by determining current market value which will be reflected in assessment values and taxes beginning in July 2023. We have hired Vision Government Solutions to complete the program with the Assessor’s Office. Data Collectors from Vision will be completing inspections of properties that have open building permits and have been sold since January 1st, 2021. Notices of new market values will be mailed in December 2022. Residents have the option to request an informal hearing to discuss questions about their property valuations. Any property owners who receive a change in their valuation from the hearing will be sent a change notice. The Assessor’s Office is available at 203-262-0674 to answer any questions about the revaluation process.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN SURVEY
The Town of Southbury is in the process of creating an Affordable Housing Plan with SLR Consulting that will be included in the Plan of Conservation and Development. A Housing Affordability survey has been made available to residents and business owners as a way to gather community input. The survey can be found here. The deadline for responses is February 8th, 2022.
ZONING REGULATION UPDATE
The Land Use Department and Zoning Commission will be conducting a review and update of the Southbury Zoning Regulations to be completed in 2023. This update will organize and reformat, update language and address new legislation as well as ensure the regulations align with the update of the Plan of Conservation and Development and new Affordable Housing Plan. While not a complete rewrite, this update will make the regulations current, easier to understand and reflect Southbury’s long-term plans for the future.
Southbury First Selectman