The Mansfield Town Council met on Monday night to hear public comments on the budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
Many citizens were worried about a potential raise in taxes, commenting that “there were ways to be austere without being cheap,” referencing the 4 percent increase in the Board of Education budget.
Other residents spoke in favor of approving the budget; especially for the Board of Education and the enrichment programs that they offer students. Several members of the middle and high school robotics clubs spoke to the Town Council, speaking about the various benefits of having a strong program that encourages imagination and innovation.
The members of the robotics club mentioned that their robots have gone to the world championships six of the past seven years, as well as increased membership to elementary school students through mentorships.
Discussion for the rest of the meeting focused on environmental issues in Mansfield.
A petition was submitted with over 70 signatures, urging the Town Council to pass a resolution that will call upon state legislators to oppose the expansion of the Algonquin Pipeline.
The Algonquin Pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline that would pass through the middle of Connecticut, including Mansfield.
While it would increase the amount of natural gas that could be transported through Connecticut, it would also increase the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere.
Methane gas is a greenhouse gas that leaks during the production and transmission of natural gas.
One resident opposed to the expansion of the pipeline said “this was an opportunity for Mansfield to make a difference.”
Other citizens thought the expansions by the University of Connecticut posed a serious threat to the local wildlife and “fragments the town.”
According to one resident, some species of salamanders and turtles were in danger because of the UConn construction occurring in their natural habitats.
More information about the Town Council and Mansfield can be found at http://www.mansfieldct.gov/.