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East Hampton Budget Passes

Voters approve a .29 mill rate increase.

 

East Hampton residents approved the FY 2012-13 budget at a referendum on Tuesday.

With 1,806 residents voting, the budget passed 994 to 812.

The budget calls for $38,345,762 in total spending, a 1.54 percent spending increase, and a mill rate of 25.97, a .29 mill increase or 1.13 percent.

This was the second time residents went to the polls to vote on the budget. The first version, with a .60 mill increase, was rejected on May 8.

So, the board of finance and town council went to work, cutting an additional $348,968, enough to satisfy a majority of voters.

Having the budget issue resolved should come as good news for the town as it did for Board of Finance Chair Matt Walton.

“When the new town manager comes in, this will be taken care of,” a relieved Walton said.

The outcome was not a given heading into Tuesday and Walton was concerned with how current economic news might affect which way residents would vote.

“The whole board was concerned with what’s going on with the economy and Europe and especially that the unemployment rate was hovering just above eight percent. We were all concerned,” he said. “At the same time, we’re also looking out for the good of East Hampton, so it’s a double-edged sword. The citizen’s spoke the first time, and again tonight they have spoke. We’re now all in agreement so we can move forward.

The next step is for the board of finance to set the mill rate, probably at its next meeting.

 

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