Town of Brookfield, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on the first day of July and end on the 30th day of June.
B. 
The system of accounts used by the Town agencies and departments shall be that prescribed by the regulations of the Board of Finance. All regulations of the Board of Finance shall be consistent with this Charter and the powers and duties of other Town agencies and departments and shall be complied with by all Town agencies and departments.
C. 
The Board of Finance shall provide for an annual independent audit of the books and accounts of the Town as required by the CT General Statutes.
A. 
Department heads. At least one hundred sixty-five (165) days before the end of the fiscal year the head of each office or agency of the Town supported wholly or in part from Town funds, with the exception of the Board of Education, shall file with the First Selectman a detailed estimate of the expenditures to be made by that office or agency and the revenues, other than property tax revenues, to be collected thereby in the ensuing fiscal year. For the Board of Education, said estimate shall be filed not later than one hundred fifty (150) days before the end of each fiscal year. Such estimates shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth the services, activities and work accomplished or to be accomplished during the current year and planned for accomplishment during the ensuing fiscal year.
B. 
First Selectman's duties. The First Selectman shall review the budget estimates with the heads of all Town-supported offices and agencies. Upon completion of the review, the First Selectman shall, not later than one hundred thirty-five (135) days before the end of the fiscal year, present to the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance, together with any recommended alterations or changes, the budget of all Town offices and agencies, including:
(1) 
A budget message describing the important features of the proposed Town budget indicating major changes from the current year, expenditures and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes and containing a clear general summary of the budget contents.
(2) 
A recommendation for those capital projects to be undertaken during the ensuing fiscal year and the method of financing these projects.
C. 
Board of Selectmen's duties. The Board of Selectmen shall consider the budget estimates as submitted by the First Selectman and shall make such further revisions as the Board deems desirable. The Board of Selectmen shall then submit its budget recommendations to the Board of Finance not less than one hundred twenty (120) days before the end of the fiscal year.
D. 
Board of Finance duties.
(1) 
Upon receipt of budget recommendations from the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance shall prepare a proposed Town budget.
(2) 
The Board of Finance shall, upon request, afford each agency and department an opportunity for a hearing on the proposed budget of such agency or department, first giving notice to the Board of Selectmen with respect to the hearing on the proposed budget of each agency and department.
(3) 
The Board of Finance shall hold one (1) or more public hearings concerning the proposed Town budget, one (1) of such hearings to be held not less than fourteen (14) days before the Annual Town Meeting, at which hearings any person qualified to vote at the Annual Town Meeting shall have an opportunity to be heard. The Board of Finance may then revise the proposed Town budget as it deems advisable.
(4) 
The proposed Town budget may include a contingency fund established in accordance with the CT General Statutes and an appropriation to any fund for capital and nonrecurring expenditures which may be established in accordance with the CT General Statutes and may provide for the payment of any part of the debts of the Town. The proposed Town budget shall also include estimates of the revenue to the Town from all sources for the ensuing year, including taxes to be raised on the last completed grand list. The Board of Finance shall present the budget to the Annual Town Meeting.
(5) 
The Board of Finance shall make available copies of the proposed Town budget in the office of the Town Clerk not less than ten (10) days before the public hearing. It shall, before the Annual Town Meeting, publish the proposed Town budget in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town and make available the proposed Town budget and any other reports prescribed by law.
A. 
Adoption of the budget submitted by the Board of Finance, and acted upon at the Annual Town Meeting in accordance with §§ C9-1, C9-2 and C9-3, shall be by vote at a referendum held between the hours of 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM not less than eight (8) nor more than fourteen (14) days following the Annual Town Meeting. At the referendum, the proposed budget shall be voted on in two separate parts, in two separate questions, one for Town Operations and one for Education.
[Amended 11-4-2014]
B. 
In the event the referendum shall fail to adopt one or both parts of the budget, the referendum shall be adjourned until the fourteenth (14) day, following and thence to successive fourteen (14) days, until both parts of the budget become adopted at the same referendum. Appropriate notice shall be given prior to each referendum.
[Amended 11-4-2014]
C. 
Upon rejection of one or both parts of the budget by referendum, the budget shall be reconsidered by the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance shall then approve the same or a revised budget for presentation at the next referendum.
[Amended 11-4-2014]
D. 
In the event that no budget has been adopted by the end of the fiscal year, the budget for the then-current fiscal year shall be deemed to be the temporary budget for the forthcoming fiscal year, and expenditures shall be made on a month-to-month basis in accordance therewith until such time as a new Town budget is finally adopted.
A. 
Within fifteen (15) days after the adoption of the annual Town budget, the Board of Finance shall meet and shall lay such tax as is required by the CT General Statutes.
B. 
The Tax Collector shall then collect the tax in accordance with the CT General Statutes. The due date shall be fixed by ordinance.
C. 
In the event no budget has been adopted by the end of the fiscal year, and until a new budget is approved and the Board of Finance lays on the appropriate taxes in accordance with § C8-4A of this Charter, the Town may raise revenues in accordance with Section 7-405 of the CT General Statutes or by appropriate action taken by the Board of Finance.
A. 
The Board of Selectmen, when requested by any Town department and after approval by the Board of Finance, may make special appropriations from cash surplus, borrowing as limited by § C8-8 of this Charter or any approved contingency fund in amounts not to exceed in the aggregate in any one (1) fiscal year ten percent (10%) of the amount appropriated or twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.), whichever is greater, for such department in the current Town budget, provided that the aggregate sum so appropriated for all agencies in any fiscal year does not exceed one percent (1%) of the total annual Town budget. The Board of Selectmen when requested by any Town department may also transfer unexpended balances from one appropriation to another within the same department in accordance with the CT General Statutes.
B. 
If within twenty (20) days from the Board of Finance rejection of a request for either a special appropriation or transfer pursuant to § C8-5A of this Charter, a petition signed by not fewer than four percent (4.0%) of the Town electors as determined from the latest official list of registered electors is filed with the Town Clerk requesting either a Special town Meeting or referendum as required by § C8-5A of this Charter, such Special Town Meeting or referendum shall be held.
C. 
The Board of Education may transfer unexpended balances from one appropriation to another in accordance with the CT General Statutes.
D. 
Any request by any Town department for a special appropriation which shall exceed the amount that the Board of Selectmen is empowered by § C8-5A of this Charter to appropriate for that department in any one (1) fiscal year shall be acted upon by a Special Town Meeting after approval by the Board of Finance.
E. 
Special appropriations other than those from cash surplus, borrowing as limited by § C8-8 of this Charter or any approved contingency fund may be acted upon only by a Special Town Meeting after approval by the Board of Finance.
F. 
All requests for special appropriations and transfers of unexpended funds shall be made in writing to the Board of Selectmen, which shall, within fourteen (14) calendar days after receipt thereof, forward such requests together with such comments and recommendations as the Board of Selectmen deems advisable to the Board of Finance. The Board of Finance shall act on all requests for special appropriations or transfers of unexpended funds within thirty (30) days after receipt thereof and shall immediately after acting advise the department making such request and the Board of Selectmen of its action. The Board of Selectmen shall act on such requests within fourteen (14) calendar days after notice of approval of such requests by the Board of Finance and shall immediately advise the department making such requests of its action.
G. 
The provisions of this § C8-5 of this Charter shall not be a limitation on the power of the Town to issue bonds or other obligations for appropriations or indebtedness in accordance with the CT General Statutes and § C9-4 of this Charter. The Board of Finance shall recommend the methods for financing a capital expenditure.
For the purpose of meeting a public emergency threatening the lives, health or property of citizens, emergency appropriations, the total of which shall not exceed one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) of the total annual budget, may be made upon the recommendation of a majority of the members of the Board of Selectmen and by an affirmative vote of not fewer 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 as may be determined by the Board of Finance.
A. 
No agency shall make a purchase except through the First Selectman or Treasurer or a Town employee designated by the First Selectman. Any board or commission that may require the assistance of an outside professional consultant in the furtherance of its mandated responsibilities shall submit the name of the firm or consultant to the Board of Selectmen for its approval, including the estimated cost to the Town for said services. The Board of Selectmen shall be the ultimate hiring authority and shall enter into contract, if required, with said firm or consultant.
B. 
No voucher, claim or charge against the Town shall be paid until First Selectman or the Treasurer or a Town employee designated by the First Selectman has audited the same and approved for correctness and validity. Checks shall be signed by the First Selectman for the payment of approved claims and shall be valid only when countersigned by the Treasurer. In the absence or inability to act of either the First Selectman or the Treasurer with respect to the above duty, the Board of Selectmen shall designate a Selectman in accordance with § C5-4 of this Charter to substitute temporarily for the First Selectman and another Town officer or employee to act for the Treasurer.
C. 
When any agency shall desire to secure a transfer of funds within its appropriation from funds set apart for one specific purpose to another, before making any expenditure thereof such agency shall first make application to the Board of Selectmen, whose duty it shall be to examine the matter. Upon the recommendation of the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance may make such transfer.
D. 
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 that any such project shall be deemed to have been abandoned if three (3) fiscal years shall elapse without any expenditure from or encumbrance of the appropriation therefor. Any portion of an annual appropriation remaining unexpended and unencumbered at the close of the fiscal year shall lapse.
E. 
Every payment made in violation of the provisions of this Charter shall be deemed illegal and every official authorizing or making such payment or taking part therein and every person receiving such payment or any part thereof with knowledge of illegality shall be jointly and severally liable to the Town for the full amount so paid or received. If any officer or employee of the Town shall knowingly incur any obligation or shall authorize or make any expenditure in violation of the provisions of this Charter or take part therein, such action shall be cause for removal.
A. 
The Town shall have the power to incur indebtedness by issuing its bonds or notes as provided by the CT General Statutes subject to the limitations thereof and the provisions of this Charter.
B. 
Borrowing limits.
(1) 
The Board of Selectmen shall have the power to borrow funds and authorize the issuance of notes to be repaid out of the receipts from taxes collected within the fiscal year such indebtedness is incurred and one (1) month thereafter, up to an aggregate amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.) during any fiscal year, provided that no such borrowing shall be made in excess of the aggregate amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.) in any fiscal year without the approval of the Board of Finance.
(2) 
Any borrowing and any issuance of bonds or notes, except tax anticipation notes, in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.) shall be authorized by a Town Meeting on the recommendation of the Board of Selectmen and the approval of the Board of Finance.
(3) 
Any borrowing and any issuance of bonds or notes, except tax anticipation notes, in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000.) shall be authorized at a referendum pursuant to § C9-4B of this Charter upon the recommendation of the Board of Selectmen and approval of the Board of Finance.
C. 
In the event that the Board of Finance shall determine that any nonrecurring expenditure proposed by the Board of Selectmen and approved by the Board of Finance is so large an amount that the tax laid to pay it would make the total tax so high that in the judgment of the Board of Finance it would be inconsistent with the public welfare, the Board of Finance may authorize, subject to the vote of a Town Meeting, borrowing such amount and the issuance of notes to be repaid over a period of not more than five (5) years in accordance with the provisions of the CT General Statutes.
D. 
All notes or bonds issued by the Town shall be executed and delivered by the First Selectman and the Treasurer or such other officer as may be designated by the vote authorizing their issuance. Any vote of the Town Meeting authorizing the issuance of notes may delegate the authority to establish all terms except the amount, time of repayment and maximum interest rate. Borrowing in amounts in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.) shall be on the basis of written bids.