Fairfield gets $1.1M more in state funding

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), a candidate for First Selectman in Fairfield, speaks during a meeting with the Connecticut Post Editorial Board, in Bridgeport, Conn. Oct. 9, 2019.

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), a candidate for First Selectman in Fairfield, speaks during a meeting with the Connecticut Post Editorial Board, in Bridgeport, Conn. Oct. 9, 2019.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — The town received about 25 percent more than expected in state aid with the recent state budget approval, officials said.

The town is getting more than $4.4 million in total state aid for the upcoming fiscal year, which is about $1.1 million more than the current year.

About $3.3 million of that will be used for non-educational aid and the other $1.1 million will go towards education.

Connecticut cities and towns will be receiving large amounts of money for both education and non-educational aid, including the federal pandemic relief that will kick in July 1 when the two-year, $46.4 billion budget starts.

Fairfield will be receiving an additional $24.8 million in federal relief funding from the American Rescue Plan.

“We have identified four areas of focus,” said First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick. “Public safety, recreation, environment and other town investments which include the senior center, funding for racial equity and justice task force, mental health programming and other items.”

“I’ll be working to call a joint meeting of the board of selectmen, board of finance and RTM to present a list of items that we have worked really hard on,” she added. “A lot of them have already been approved for bonding, but some have not, but they are not unknown to our elected board of officials.”

Kupchick said they will then put the list out to the public and seek input from the community.

Fairfield Public School officials have said the approval of the state budget does not have an immediate impact on their funding. While there may be some trickle-down related to how the formulas are calculated this year, the schools will not know the exact impact for several months.

School officials have cited that their “conservative” estimate of state funding in the budget process has given them an idea of what they would be receiving, which is displayed in the school proposed 2021-2022 school budget.

Gov. Ned Lamont, called the budget “transformative” and said it “makes a big difference in people’s lives, especially the lives of people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, especially for the lives of Black and brown people, the likes of which hasn’t been done in 30 years.”