FAIRFIELD — Residents approved a $7.1 million municipal budget at Monday’s annual Town Meeting, including the use of federal American Rescue Plan Act money to pay a new fee to Delta Ambulance for 911 emergency services.

More than 50 residents gathered at the Fairfield Community Center to OK a budget that represents a $755,000 increase, or about 11.7%, over current spending.

The main driver of the spending increase is a jump in utility costs. The town has seen hikes in the cost of natural gas, water and electricity. The budget also reflects an average wage increase of about 8% for municipal workers.

Revenue is expected to increase as well and town officials anticipate the amount to be raised through taxation to rise 1.5%. Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said the municipal budget should have a limited impact on the overall tax rate. But she said both the school and county budgets are expected to increase, too, and that could drive up the tax bill for people.

“We’re still working on what the tax commitment numbers will look like, but we are not expecting a huge change in your taxes,” Flewelling said at the meeting.

And the town’s assessing rate has dropped, which will mean residents could see a decrease to some property tax exemptions. To address the assessing rate, the Town Council has approved a contract with RJD Appraisal to conduct a revaluation of property over the next four years, which will bring the rate back up.


There were three articles on the warrant where the Town Council and budget committee recommended different amounts: general assistance, the Police Athletic League and Spectrum Generations. In all three cases, residents approved the higher funding amount.

Residents also approved the use of $97,170 from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay for a one-year contract with Delta Ambulance for 911 emergency services. The cost is a new fee instituted by Delta, based on a $15 per resident calculation, and the ambulance service is asking that payment be made by all the towns for which it provides emergency services.

Flewelling explained that if residents rejected the Delta fee, the town would not have an agreement with an ambulance service for emergency responses and Delta would no longer respond to Fairfield calls. And there are currently no other options to replace Delta.

Fairfield and Oakland are the two largest towns affected, and both have now agreed to pay the fee for the year. Freedom is so far the only town to have rejected the fee, and officials there switched over to Unity Ambulance. Several other towns have not yet voted on the matter, as they have town meetings in June.

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