Avon Budget Battle Ends: The Budget Passes | NBC Connecticut

Avon Budget Battle Ends: The Budget Passes

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    In Avon's new budget, residents will be shelling out more money for taxes.

    In a vote was 3055 to 2215 and with that, Avon's $72 million budget passed on Wednesday night. Forty-eight percent of voters came out, which is the largest voter turnout ever for a budget referendum in Avon.

    "I'm grateful and delighted that the voters of Avon have approved the budget compromise that the Board of Finance recommended," said Tom Harrison, chairman of the Avon Board of Finance.
    "This is so much more than a schools vote. This is a vote about the soul of our town. It's about all of the services this particular budget will fund, and we just feel so validated that our community came together," said Susan Rietano Davey, who helped to organize the Coalition of Citizens For Avon.
    For weeks, groups have been rallying for and against this budget. Those who support it say it was needed to keep town services and quality education.
    "The people, they want to have the best schools. They have to pay for it," said Marco Morel of Avon.
    Those who were against the budget are against the 4.4 percent tax hike.
    "The way the economy is, the jobs. I think it's a little bit too much," said Abdul Majidy of Avon.
    "Yes, it is going to hurt. But the people have spoken, so we all have to live with it," said Flo Stahl, president of the Avon Taxpayers Association, who campaigned against the budget.
    While the budget did pass, this isn't the end of financial battles in Avon. The Board of Education now has to figure out how it will close a $1 million gap.
    Teachers have already made $350,000 in concessions and the district is considering cutting high school sports programs and increasing the pay-to-play option.
    "It's devastating to hear what's going on. We don't appreciate it. And we just hope everyone will come together and save our school, basically," said Nick Rowe, an Avon High School freshman.