FAIRFIELD — The Town Council will hold a budget workshop this Saturday, discussing the nearly $10.9 million budget for fiscal year 2018.

Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said town councilors received this preliminary budget estimate at their most recent council meeting, and the Jan. 21 meeting at the town office will be the first opportunity for councilors to discuss it with her and other department heads. This proposal includes estimates for the school budget and county portion, and is a $99,149 increase over the current budget.

Flewelling said the increase is due to higher insurance costs and increased costs for utilities, neither of which are in the town’s control, she said. She said at the police department alone, health insurance costs are set to increase by more than $23,000. There are no new town projects or initiatives driving up the estimated budget.

“There’s no one big glaring thing other than the health insurance,” Flewelling said.

The public meeting is slated to last for five hours, and is just one step in a process to finalize the budget. Once councilors weigh in with their thoughts and recommendations, the proposal will then head to a similar weekend meeting with the town’s Budget Committee. That meeting would also include department heads and town councilors, Flewelling said.

Saturday’s meeting will be a workshop, and public comment will not be taken. It is slated to begin at 8 a.m.

She said it is still very early in the budget process. She said all the various department heads have been working on their proposed budgets over the past few months, and Saturday’s meeting was a way for the council to see and discuss the budget as a collective whole.

Flewelling said the recent change in minimum wage, which increased to $9 from $7.50 this year across the state, had a small affect on the budget as well.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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