Another Connecticut community is feeling the blows from having no state budget.
Local leaders in Scotland said they are left fighting with the possibility of losing their town.
Scotland is trying to operate on 25 percent of last year’s budget and when Eyewitness News spoke with First Selectman Daniel Syme on Tuesday, who said if no help comes and no decisions are made they will have to plan for the worst case scenario.
The town of Scotland, has 650 homes and 1,700 people.
“We’re on a bare bones budget,” Syme said. “We’re beyond bare bones we are down to the bone marrow.”
Syme said they are just one of 169 towns throughout the state feeling the stress of the state’s budget battle.
“Our Town Treasurer estimates that if we don’t have a state budget by springtime we will be out of money,” Syme said.
Last year the town got $1.4 million from the state, which helps with education. But with Gov. Dannel Malloy’s recent revisions, they are expecting to lose a million. For a town that has few businesses to tax and an aging population, the state aid is a lifeline.
“Everybody is part time; we are already sharing positions with another town. I only have two DPW guys take care of 18 square miles of town,” Syme said. “I can’t cut anymore you know without cutting services or closing the doors.”
Town leaders said they are left with considering the absolute worst case scenarios- which include bankruptcy or dis-solvency, which means merging into another town. But these options have not been explored yet.
“We are planning for the worst case scenario,” Syme said. “We’re not even going to move on that issue until around the first of the year when we see that the state still does not have a budget.
For every $100,000 cut, it’s about a 1 mil increase on the taxpayers to absorb, and Scotland could be out of money by February.
“State’s cutting back at a bad time and it’s just a lot of towns have gone through the mini recession we had trying to recover and Eastern Connecticut hasn’t gotten anything out of it,” Brad Blodgett, who is a 15-year resident of Scotland, said.
Some residents said they will be resilient no matter the outcome.
“You’ll be tough Yankees and ride it out like Connecticut does,” Scotland resident Kim Martin said.
But, the town does have a message to Connecticut lawmakers.
“You can’t have a vibrant urban community without having a vibrant suburban and rural communities. We all have to work together,” Syme said.
The first selectman is imploring lawmakers to come to some sort of consensus.
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