The fiscal year of the town shall begin on the first day of July and shall end on the 30th day of June. Accounts for the town shall be maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles related to accounting, auditing, and financial reporting, and pursuant to Chapter 111 of the General Statutes, as amended.
It shall be the duty of the First Selectman to require each department, office, and agency of the town supported wholly or in part by town funds, or for which a specific town appropriation is made, including the Board of Education, to submit to the Finance Officer not later than the fifteenth (15th) day of February in each year on forms provided by him or her a detailed estimate of expenditures and revenues, other than tax revenues, incurred or earned by such department, office or agency for both the current fiscal year and the ensuing fiscal year. Such estimates shall be accompanied by information set forth in the manner prescribed by the Board of Finance describing a program or programs showing services, activities, and work accomplished during the current fiscal year and to be accomplished during the ensuing fiscal year. It shall be the responsibility of the Finance Officer to compile all figures of actual revenues and expenditures for the last completed fiscal year, the budgeted amount of revenues and expenditures for the current fiscal year and the actual amount to date for the current fiscal year.
Not later than the fifteenth (15th) day of March in each year the Finance Officer shall present to the Board of Finance a budget consisting of (a) the budget message outlining the financial condition of the town government and describing in connection therewith the important features of the budget plan indicating any major changes from the current fiscal year in financial conditions, expenditures, and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, and containing a clear general summary of its contents; (b) estimates of revenues, presenting in parallel columns the itemized revenues in the last completed fiscal year, the budgeted revenues for the current fiscal year, the revenues earned during the current fiscal year prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total revenues estimated to be earned during the current fiscal year, estimates of revenues, other than from the property tax, to be earned in the ensuing fiscal year, and an estimate of available surplus or existing deficit; (c) itemized estimates of expenditures, presented in parallel columns of the actual expenditures for each department, office, agency, or activity for the last completed fiscal year, the budgeted expenditures for the current fiscal year, the current fiscal year actual expenditures prior to the time of preparing the estimates, total expenditures as estimated for the current fiscal year, appropriations as proposed by each department, office, or agency for all items for the ensuing fiscal year, and such other information as may be required by the Board of Finance.
The Board of Finance shall hold one or more public hearings on the individual budget requests of each board, agency, or commission before March thirty-first (31st) of each year. The Board of Finance shall request the presence at such hearings of a representative of each board, agency, or commission submitting a budget request. At such hearing, any qualified elector or taxpayer shall have an opportunity to be heard regarding appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year. Following compilation of the revenue and expenditure estimates which form a preliminary budget for the ensuing fiscal year, the Board of Finance shall cause sufficient copies of said preliminary budget to be made available for general distribution in the office of the Town Clerk. The Board of Finance shall hold the public hearing on the second (2nd) Tuesday of April on said preliminary budget. The Board of Finance budget deliberations will commence two days later on Thursday. The Board of Finance shall request the presence at such hearings of a representative of each board, agency or commission submitting a request. At such hearings, any qualified elector or taxpayer shall have an opportunity to be heard regarding appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year and at least five (5) days prior to the first of the public hearings on the preliminary budget, the Board of Finance shall cause to be published, in a newspaper having general circulation in the town, a notice of such public hearing and summary of said preliminary budget showing anticipated revenue by major sources, and requested expenditures by function or departments in the same columnar form as prescribed for budget estimates in Section 1103 of this Charter, and shall also show the amount to be raised by taxation. Within fifteen (15) days after holding the final of such public hearings, the Board of Finance shall hold one (1) or more public deliberations and by resolution adopted by affirmative vote of at least four (4) members, the Board of Finance shall approve a budget and file the same with the Town Clerk for submission to the annual town budget meeting for its adoption. The estimate of expenditures submitted by the Board of Finance to the annual town budget meeting shall include a recommendation for a contingency fund which shall not exceed three (3) percent of the total expenditures for the current fiscal year. The estimate of expenditures submitted by the Board of Finance to the annual town budget meeting will provide a contribution to the Capital Reserve Fund in order to maintain at least a minimum of five (5) percent of the total expenditures for the current year. No expenditure or transfer may be made from this fund without approval of the Board of Finance. Any expenditure or transfer in excess of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) per transaction must be submitted to the vote of a duly called town meeting as set forth in Section 7-348 in the General Statutes, as amended. The budget, as approved by the Board of Finance, shall be published at least five (5) days prior to the annual town budget meeting in the same manner as prescribed in this section for purposes of publication prior to the Board of Finance's public hearing on the preliminary budget. An official copy of the budget as finally approved by the Board of Finance shall be filed with the Town Clerk. Should the Board of Finance fail to approve a budget within the specified fifteen (15) days, the budget, as submitted to the Board of Finance, in accordance with the provisions of Section 1103 of this Charter shall be deemed to have been finally approved by the Board of Finance and the same shall be filed with the Town Clerk for submission to the town meeting for the purposes of final adoption in accordance with Section 702 of this Charter. Within ten (10) days after the acceptance of the budget at a town budget meeting, the Board of Finance by resolution shall fix the tax rate in mills or fraction thereof which shall be levied on the taxable property in the town for the ensuing fiscal year. For the purposes of Chapters 108 and 111 of the General Statutes, as amended, the Board of Finance shall be deemed to be the budget-making authority and shall have all the powers and duties contained in said Chapter 108 for the creation of a "Reserve Fund for Capital and Non-recurring Expenditures." [Amended 11-5-2002; 11-6-2007]
In addition to the duties prescribed in Section 1104 of this Charter, the Board of Finance shall have the power to select the independent public accountant who shall conduct an audit of the records and accounts of the town, including the Board of Education, as provided in Chapter 111 of the General Statutes, as amended. Said audit shall be completed in accordance with Connecticut State Statute Section 7-393, as amended. The Board of Finance shall also have the power to initiate and appropriate funds for special inquiries by said independent auditors of financial situations that, in the opinion of the Board of Finance, warrant the interim audit and/or gathering of specific information on any accounts, investments or funds operating under the control of employees, boards or agents of the Town of Ellington.
The Board of Finance shall, with the assistance of the Finance Officer, prepare and publish the Annual Town Report. Said Report shall be available for distribution as soon as possible after the close of the fiscal year, but not later than the thirty-first (31st) day of October following the close of said fiscal year.
Upon recommendation of the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance and approval by the annual town budget meeting a reserve fund established for capital and non-recurring expenses shall be established in accordance with the General Statutes as amended. All or a portion of said fund may be used to finance planning, construction, or acquisition of any specific item or equipment. Any appropriation from this fund must be for a specific sum plainly designated for each project and must be recommended by the Board of Finance and submitted to the vote of a duly called town meeting.
The annual budget shall become effective only after it has been approved by resolution of the Board of Finance, and adopted at the annual town budget meeting. Should the annual town budget meeting fail to adopt the budget, the vote on the budget shall be adjourned to referendum to be held two weeks after the town meeting is adjourned and every other week thereafter until final approval is given. Any budget which has been rejected by referendum in accordance with Chapter VII of this Charter shall be considered in the interim by the Board of Finance, which may revise the rejected budget and shall present it at a subsequent budget referendum for acceptance. If the budget remains unaccepted after such reconsideration referendum, the budget adopted for the then current fiscal year shall be deemed to be the temporary budget for the forthcoming fiscal year and expenditures may be made on a month-to-month basis in accordance therewith until such time as the annual town budget referendum finally adopts a new budget. The Board of Selectmen shall have the authority to permit separate votes on the town's operating budget and the town's education budget for any budget which has failed to be approved by referendum. [Amended 11-6-2007, 11-6-2018]
Prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the Finance Officer shall advise each department, office, and agency of the town supported wholly or in part by town funds, or for which a specific town appropriation is made, of the appropriations approved by the annual budget meeting. Within ten (10) days thereafter, any department, agency, or office, as requested by the Finance Officer, shall submit to the Finance Officer a work program for the full fiscal year with a suggested schedule of monthly appropriation allotments which shall not exceed in total the corresponding individual appropriation. The Finance Officer shall review and modify as necessary the proposed work program and suggested monthly allotment schedule and submit to the First Selectman a recommended program and allotment schedule for all appropriations for the budget year. Upon approval of the Board of Selectmen the Finance Officer shall advise each department, agency, and office of the approved program and allotment schedule. The Finance Officer shall authorize all expenditures for the offices, departments, and agencies to be made from the appropriations on the basis of approved allotments and not otherwise. An approved allotment may be revised during the budget year in the same manner as the original allotment was made. If at any time during the budget year, the Finance Officer shall ascertain that the available income, plus balances, for the year will be less than the total appropriations, he or she shall reconsider the work programs and allotments of the several offices, departments, and agencies and recommend to the First Selectman revised allotments so as to forestall the making of expenditures in excess of the said income.
For the purpose of meeting a public emergency threatening the lives, health, or property of citizens, emergency appropriations, the total amount of which shall not exceed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) may be made upon the recommendation of at least four (4) members of the Board of Selectmen and by an affirmative vote of not less than four (4) members of the Board of Finance. In the absence of sufficient general fund resources to meet such appropriations additional means of financing shall be provided in such manner, consistent with the provisions of the General Statutes and of this Charter, as may be determined by the Board of Finance. [Amended 11-5-2002; 11-6-2007]
No purchase shall be made by any office, agency, board, or commission of the town, other than the Board of Education, except through procedures established by the Board of Selectmen.
No voucher, claim, or charge against the town, except those against the Board of Education, shall be paid until the same has been audited by the Finance Officer and approved by him or her for correctness and validity. Payment of all claims against the Board of Education shall be authorized by the Superintendent of Schools or his or her agent. Payment of all approved claims against all other town accounts shall be authorized by the First Selectman. Said authorization shall be valid when countersigned by the Finance Officer acting as the treasurer provided, in the absence or inability to act of the First Selectman or Finance Officer, the Deputy First Selectman shall substitute temporarily for said First Selectman or Finance Officer.
The Finance Officer shall prescribe the time at which and the manner in which persons receiving money on behalf of the town shall pay the same to him or her in his or her capacity as Town Treasurer.
No officer, agency, board, or commission of the town shall expend or commit the town to the expenditure of any money for any purpose in excess of the amount appropriated therefore until the matter has been approved by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance and each order drawn upon the Treasurer shall state the office, agency, board, or commission and the appropriation against which it is to be charged.
Upon completion of salary and benefit negotiations or adjustments by the Board of Selectmen with any employee or group of employees, the Board of Selectmen shall recommend and the Board of Finance may approve; a transfer of funds from a General Government Salary Adjustment Account, or additional appropriation, as the case may be, to the respective salary and benefit accounts of each affected department so as to accurately reflect the expense of each department. [Added 11-5-2002]
In addition to the duties assigned to the Finance Officer under the provisions of this Charter, it shall be the duty of the Finance Officer to serve as advisor to the Board of Finance on all matters.
Upon the recommendation and request of the Board of Selectmen during the last three (3) months of the fiscal year the Board of Finance may, by resolution, transfer any unencumbered appropriation, balance, or portion thereof from one department, commission, board, or office to another provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to the Board of Education. No transfer shall be made from any appropriation for debt service and other statutory charges.
Appropriations for construction or for other permanent improvements from whatever source derived, shall not lapse until the purpose for which the appropriation was made shall have been accomplished or abandoned, provided any such project shall be deemed to have been abandoned if three (3) fiscal years shall elapse without any expenditure from or encumbrances of the appropriation therefore. Any portion of any other annual appropriation remaining unexpended and unencumbered at the close of the fiscal year shall lapse and revert to the general fund.
Every payment made in violation of the provisions of this Charter shall be deemed illegal, and every official willfully authorizing or making such payment or taking part therein shall be jointly and severally liable to the town for the full amount so paid or received.
The Board of Selectmen shall adopt, by resolution, such rules and regulations concerning expenditures and bidding procedures not inconsistent with the provisions of this section and Section 1110 of this Charter.
All grants that have the potential to impose any financial burden on the town must be approved by the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance prior to acceptance. At the time of the acceptance, all information regarding future costs and/or responsibilities must be presented to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance for review. [Added 11-6-2007]
As to capital non-recurring projects approved at the annual town budget meeting, upon the recommendation of the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance approval, additional appropriations of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) may be made to the project without town meeting approval, as well as close out of capital projects under forty thousand dollars ($40,000). [Added 11-6-2007]
The town shall have the power to secure indebtedness by issuing its bonds or notes as provided by the General Statutes as amended subject to the limitations thereof and the provisions of this Charter.
Purchases for the Town of Ellington, except the Board of Education and the Probate Court, shall be made under such rules and regulations as may be established by the Board of Selectmen. For any purchase estimated at seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) or more, the Finance Officer shall invite sealed bids unless the Board of Selectmen shall decide it to be against the best interest of the town. The Finance Officer shall provide a minimum of ten (10) days public notice to potential bidders by publication at least once in a newspaper having circulation in the town. The Finance Officer shall, with the approval of the requesting board, commission, committee, or department, award the purchase or contract to the lowest responsible bidder thereon or may reject any or all such bids or proposals. All such sealed bids or proposals shall be opened publicly. For any purchase less than seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500), or such other amount required by law, the Finance Officer or his or her designee shall negotiate directly with prospective suppliers prior to the Finance Officer awarding the contract. [Amended 11-5-2002; 11-6-2007]