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New Beach Sand Among Cuts in Darien Budget

DARIEN, Conn. – The sand won't be replaced at either town beach and the Senior Center won't see more programs after Darien's Board of Selectmen proposed nearly $940,000 in cuts in the 2012-13 budget in an effort to keep spending increases in check.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said she visited both Weed Beach and Pear Tree Point Beach and determined that neither one needs to have its sand replaced. It would have cost the town $45,000 per beach.

The Senior Center had requested an increase in its funding for programming, but the selectmen decided they would wait until the center made its move to Town Hall before adding more money for programs. Due to the center's state of disrepair, they did not want to consider raising fees for the programs.

Though the Public Works budget for building maintenance is expected to decrease by $56,000, costs for maintenance and repair at the Senior Center is expected to rise by about $7,100. This includes repairs in the kitchen facilities and the boiler.

The Senior Center will be moving soon, so the staff is making sure to attend mainly to items that must be fixed.

Town Administrator Karl Kilduff proposed cutting a $29,500 grant to Youth Options, which helps kids in crisis. It has been proposed to add $12,500 of those funds for the Depot. Selectmen David Bayne and John Lundeen said that although they approve of the work the Depot does, they would want to see the Depot's specific plans before deciding.

The selectmen also agreed to cut a $2,100 request from the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission for a reviewing stand, where town officials stand to watch the Memorial Day parade. The selectmen said they could stand on the ground during the parade.

The selectmen will make their final decisions on budget cuts at their meeting Monday night.

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