The West Hartford Town Council will meet Tuesday night, but the town manager’s budget presentation has been delayed until Thursday night due to expected information about American Rescue Plan Act funds.
By Ronni Newton
The West Hartford Town Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, and although the agenda indicates presentation of the proposed FY2022 budget, Town Manager Matt Hart said that he will instead introduce the budget during a special meeting on Thursday, March 11.
The U.S. Senate passed the American Rescue Plan – aka the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill – on Saturday, and although the U.S. House of Representatives had earlier passed a version of the bill, the House must give final approval to the reconciled version before it goes to the president’s desk for signature. House approval is expected to come Tuesday or Wednesday.
Included in the bill is funding that will go directly to the state, as well as significant funding that will go directly to municipalities, potentially tens of millions of dollars for West Hartford according to earlier estimates.
“We’re extending the presentation of the budget so we can get some of the details of the federal legislation, and to see how the Council can incorporate the new federal monies into the operating budget for next fiscal year,” Hart told We-Ha.com on Tuesday.
“We’re hoping to get some good guidance over the next couple of days so we can share that with the Council,” Hart said. That guidance – which should include details about the amount of the funding for the town as well as what it can be used for – is expected to come from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) as well as the legislative delegation.
West Hartford Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore presented his FY2022 to the Board of Education last week and that budget will be incorporated into the overall town budget.
The district is also slated to receive nearly $4 million in federal funding through the Emergency and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) aid bill passed by Congress in December 2020, but use of those funds must be specifically tied to COVID-19 mitigation and recovery, including measures to target academic disparities resulting from remote learning as well as additional support for mental health.
Information about Thursday’s budget presentation, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. will be available on the town’s website. The public will be able to view the meeting on West Hartford Community Interactive’s cable stations, website, and via the WHCi YouTube channel. We-Ha.com will also provide a summary of the town manager’s budget presentation with a link to the entire document.
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