1. What’s the Weather? Today will be partly cloudy with a 10 percent chance of rain, increasing to a 30 percent change later in the day when evening showers are likely. Weather.com predicts a high temperature of 67 degrees and an overnight low of 52 degrees. The UV index is very high so there should be plenty of sun today too.
2. The Big Reveal: unveiled the final version of the 2012-2013 town budget late last week. If you haven’t seen it yet, probably the first thing you’ll notice is that the Mill rate is noticeably higher at 32.15, that’s an increase of nearly 4 Mills due to the revaluation.
“Our current Mill rate is 28.18,” says Middlefield Finance Director Joseph Geruch. “Had we not had revaluation, our Mill rate would be 28.7, about a half a Mill increase.”
Despite the increase, however, Geruch says homeowners shouldn’t see a big jump in property taxes.
“The amount of property taxes they have to pay has remained relatively unchanged,” Geruch says. “That was one of the goals we had in coming up with this year’s budget, because of the state of the economy, to at least try to minimize any impact on our residential community, and that we did.”
Compared to the last fiscal year, total municipal expenditures for 2012-2013 increased by 5 percent, municipal operations rose by 5 percent, and total town expenditures rose by 2.8 percent. The new budget also reflected decreasing expenditures in a variety of areas, however. Most significantly, Middlefield’s portion of the district school budget is lower than it has been due to a decline in student enrollment. That helped the Board of Finance hold the line on the budget this year, Geruch says.
Now it’s up to voters to decide whether to approve it at the Town Meeting, which will be held May 14 in Middlefield’s Community Center at 7 p.m. The final budget is available at Town Hall and, as of 7 a.m. today, will be posted on Patch.
3. School Budgets Up for Final Discussion: Both regional school districts will be presenting their budgets one last time before the May 8 referendum. The budget is on the agenda at tonight's Regional School meeting at Coginchaug High School at 8 p.m. and at Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. at HK High School. If you’ve got questions about either budget, this will be your last chance to get answers before tomorrow’s vote.
4. Middlefield Board of Selectman will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at Middlefield Community Center, 405 Main Street, in Middlefield. The town is nearing the end of a 90-day due diligence period for selling to Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park owner Sean Hayes, so there’s a good chance that issue will come up this evening.
5. This Day in History: On May 7, 1994, Edvard Munch’s iconic painting "The Scream" was found undamaged in a hotel in Asgardstrand, Norway, about 40 miles from the museum in Oslo from which it was stolen about three months prior. Munch painted four versions of “The Scream” and, last week, the pastel version set a record price for art at auction when it sold for nearly $120 million at Sotheby’s in New York.