First Selectman Robert Silvaggi said items cut from the town side of the budget included the renovation of two tennis courts and the addition of one police officer.
"The police department had requested two new officers, but it just wasn't meant to be," said Silvaggi, who voted against the budget during the board meeting.
"I wanted to put out a budget that has a reasonable chance of passing," he said. "Brookfield hasn't passed a budget increase much over 3 percent for a long time."
Selectman Joni Park said she would have preferred an increase in education spending of about 6.2 percent.
"That would have at least allowed them to provide the same services as they did last year," she said. "But it's a very tight budget year."
She added that the Board of Education originally asked for a 7.2 percent increase, which included about 3 percent for salary increases, 1.2 percent for increased health care costs, and 1.7 percent for increased operational costs, including fuel and electricity.
"Unfortunately, the schools will have to cut back in a lot of places," she said.
School board chair Daria Rockholz said a 4.6 percent increase will have a chilling effect on the district.
"Cuts of that magnitude mean that we will not only have to cut programs, but most likely we will also have to cut personnel," she said. "The class sizes are probably going to get a lot bigger."
Former town comptroller Ray Bolek said the proposed budget increases will equate to a 7.94 percent increase in the average tax bill.
Part of that increase id due to a $1.3-million shortfall in expected revenue. The town is receiving less than it expected from real estate conveyance taxes and permit fees, he said.
The increase also results from a $750,000 deficit in the current year because of a $40 million error that was made in the grand list. Bolek said the error resulted from underestimating the value of elderly tax benefits.
"The benefit wasn't properly taken into account," he said. "And I made that mistake."
Bolek added that the mill rate this year was 17.96, when it should have been 18.25. The mill rate that would be needed to pay for the proposed budget passed Friday would be about 19.5.
"That's a heavy burden and I realize that -- I'm a taxpayer, too," Park said. "But people have to realize that cutbacks and reducing services will affect them. Property values will go down if roads aren't paved, and the school system isn't as good as potential home buyers expected."
Contact Dirk Perrefort at email@example.com
or at (203) 731-3358.