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From the First Selectman: 7/29/16

By First Selectman Ellen Scalettar

It is tax time and many of you have been coming to Town Hall in person to pay your bills. It is a tribute to our friendly and efficient tax collectors that nearly all residents come in with a smile and a friendly greeting.

It is also, of course, a tribute to the excellent fiscal management of our Town by the Board of Finance and our Finance Department. Just recently Woodbridge’s financial strength was validated once again by Moody’s Investors when we received a Aaa bond rating, the highest available.

Woodbridge also received the award for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. The award recognizes a “spirit of full disclosure” and the clear communication of the Town’s financial story. The award also commends Tony Genovese, our Finance Director, as the person with primary responsibility for preparing the award-winning report.

Our excellent bond rating is one important tool to control taxes, but our mill rate remains high, in part because of our predominant reliance on residential property taxes. To alleviate that burden, I have made expanding our tax base a priority, and I have been working with the Economic Development Commission to support our business district. In addition to regular visits and business promotion, we are initiating the design phase of a signage program to help direct visitors and residents to restaurants, shops, and recreational opportunities. We also continue to work with the State Department of Transportation on short and long term traffic improvements in the Village District.

In my view, the future of the Country Club of Woodbridge property (CCW) is an important part of our budget discussion. I disagree with those who say that financial considerations are not relevant to our plans for the CCW. It was an expensive purchase that was made by the Town to control development on the property. Some in Town are now opposed to any development; some would like to see continued golf operations; others would like to see true open space or other recreational activities, including the pool; and still others would like to maximize our financial return. We have nearly as many opinions as we have residents!

I hope you were able to attend the informational meeting this week and that you will stay up to date by visiting our website at woodbridgct.org. Information about the proposals and other information about the Country Club can be found at woodbridgect.org/CCWFuture. And, of course, please sign up for our enewsletter (tinyurl.com/WoodbridgeEnews) to learn about Town news and events.

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