East Lyme - The Board of Finance will hold a public hearing tonight at the high school on the $62.4 million budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The budget is 1.81 percent more than the current spending plan and includes a $21.16 million town government budget (a 1.42 percent increase) and a $41.31 million school budget (a 2 percent increase).
The finance board trimmed the Board of Selectmen's budget proposal by $88,518 and the Board of Education's budget by $350,000 before adopting the $62.46 million budget proposal at its April 11 meeting.
If approved, the tax rate would be 23.22 mills. While up from the current 19.47 mills, the 23.22-mill tax rate takes into account the 2011 revaluation and would keep residential tax bills about the same as this year, according to minutes from the finance board's April 11 meeting.
Among other things, the finance board reduced money in the police budget request for training, overtime, foot patrol and officers' salaries, according to First Selectman Paul Formica. The police budget now stands at $2 million, a 5.68 percent increase over the current budget.
"You just have to back off a little bit, I guess, on scheduling," he said.
But funds remain in the budget to hire a 22nd full-time officer in January, he said.
The finance board also reduced the amount budgeted for part-time firefighters - hired to help provide better weekend coverage - by $5,000.
"I don't know that any of these have a major impact - they're all sharpening the pencil and they have a little impact," Formica said. "We'll do what we can do with what's in there."
Meanwhile, the finance board added $15,000 in seed money to build a skateboard park, something the selectmen had cut from their list of capital projects earlier in the budget season.
"The town had just approved the athletic complex, and the skateboard park serves a different segment of the community," Formica said. "And they felt that we should begin to serve that segment as well."