The Ledyard Budget 2016-2017

LedyardEach year prior to the Ledyard Annual Town Meeting, the Town Council Chairman writes a cover letter to residents for delivery to the Town Clerk with the proposed budget. Although the Town Meeting and Referendum is still ahead of us, the hard work is now done. (Unless the budget is defeated and then we are back to work.)  The Ledyard budget is a combination of many many hours of volunteer work. Despite this work, I have received emails from residents unhappy at the increase and from those unhappy with the one million dollar reduction to the Board of Education’s proposal. Even with this reduction, the BOE’s budget is $304,000 higher than a year ago. In addition, $200,000 was added to the Capital Budget for much needed Ledyard High School bathroom renovations.  This budget increases the mil rate by 1.89 mils, complicated by our recent revaluation. It’s never easy to deliver news of a tax increase but the word from Hartford isn’t good and revenue is almost certain to go down.  You will find more details in my letter below.

 

Dear Ledyard Resident:

The Town Council submits for your approval a proposed Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Budget in the amount of $53,838,545, comprised of a General Government Budget of $22,943,212 and a Board of Education Budget of $30,895,333. The Board of Education budget is $304,037 higher than the current Fiscal Year budget while the General Government budget is $87,469 lower, resulting in a total budget net increase of $216,568.

It should be noted that the General Government Budget of $22,943,212 includes approximately $6,000,000 of Board of Education related expenses comprised of Liability Insurance, Health Care, Workers Comp, Pension Obligations, School Nursing, and other in-kind services. Taking this into consideration, about 70% of the total budget is allocated for Board of Education expenses including in-kind services and 30% is allocated for General Government expenses. The General Government budget also includes $134,379 for half of an extra payroll period which occurs once every seven years.

The reductions to the General Government Budget were realized with decreases in debt service obligations, insurance premiums and reductions in operations as a result of the transition from a Resident State Trooper Program to an Independent Police Department. Other savings were found by adjusting replacement schedules of vehicles and equipment for Public Works and Emergency Services, cross training of employees and implementing software applications for efficiency.

The General Government’s budget maintains essential services to our citizens and continues to invest in technology. Highlights of the proposed budget include: (1) Continued shared resources between the General Government and Board of Education, (2) An additional Career Firefighter, (3) The addition of a part-time nurse for the Parks and Recreation Summer Program, (4) Advancement of on-line services including electronic public access to land records in the Town Clerk’s Office, on-line payments for property taxes and water services, document management system for the Police Department, on-line dog licensing, automated human resources timekeeping/payroll software and continued implementation and expansion of the PeopleGIS Land Use database/forms program reducing staff time spent on permit applications while providing online access for the public to submit, track, and receive permit notifications. This budget continues the use of the IQM2 media portal (OpenLedyard.com), improving communication with the public by streaming live and on-demand meetings, (5) Provides funding for current and future infrastructure and capital needs, (6) Continues Single Stream Recycling, which reduces tipping fees, that will provide direct savings in tax dollars, (7) Gales Ferry Landing (the former Gales Ferry School) continues to be financially self-sustaining as a business incubator with increased tenant occupancy generating sufficient revenue to pay for utilities, building maintenance and capital improvements and (8) Fire Hydrant testing and maintenance.

The General Government budget allocates $906,932 to the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which includes $200,000 for the Ledyard High School Bathroom Improvements. This funding, combined with State and Federal grants, provides for a total CIP of $3.8 million allowing for critical road repairs/maintenance, streetscape improvements in Ledyard Center/Route 117 and sinking fund allocations for emergency services equipment, future vehicle purchases and technology enhancements.

Although Ledyard saw the largest commercial development in Southeastern Connecticut with the construction of Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Casino, Ledyard also saw a 3.38% decrease in the Grand List with the 2015 Revaluation (total net Grand List $1,089,981,022) requiring a .61 mil rate increase for equalization. In addition, the State of Connecticut is now facing a $930+ million deficit in the current fiscal year and a $5 billion biennial budget deficit. This financial crisis has made the State Municipal Aid revenue to cities and towns unpredictable. Ledyard’s State Municipal Aid is projected to decrease in the areas of Education Cost Sharing (ECS), Transportation, Federal Public Law 874 (Impact Aid), and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). As a result, the Town Council anticipates that the proposed Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Budget will require an increase of 1.89 mils for a projected mil rate of 32.29.

In preparing this year’s budget, consideration was given to the future impact of the issuance of bonds for the following long-term projects: (1) Police Headquarters Facility Project approved on May 20, 2013. This project will be completed by Summer 2016 and a Ribbon Cutting is planned to take place during the 2016 Ledyard Fair, (2) School Consolidation/Improvement Projects approved on January 20, 2015 and (3) Waste Water Treatment Facility Upgrade approved on December 10, 2014. These projects are expected to be completed over the next few years with the financial impact to our debt service projected to peak at about $4.65 million in 2021.

Our special thanks to Finance Committee Chairman Fred Allyn, III, and members Tom Malone and Bill Saums for their long hours in working to complete this challenging budget. In addition, we thank the Mayor, the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education for their efforts as well as Marcia Hancock, Town Director of Finance, and Jason Lathrop, Board of Education Business Manager for their support.

We also thank our dedicated Town and Board of Education employees who continue to look for new opportunities to improve services and reduce costs for our residents. Special thanks to Town Council Clerk Roxanne Maher who works tirelessly year round but especially during budget season.

The Town Council would appreciate your attendance and participation at the Annual Town Meeting to be held at Ledyard High School on Monday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. and during the budget referendum that will be held Tuesday, May 17 from 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available at the Town Clerk's office.  Pursuant to CGS 9-396c, eligible persons requesting an absentee ballot must apply in person at the Town Clerk's Office.

By Town Charter, if the budget referendum does not pass on May 17, 2016, a new budget will be presented at a second referendum two weeks later and if necessary, a third referendum two weeks after that. In the event all three referenda fail to pass a budget, the Town Council is required to adopt a Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Budget by June 27th.

We encourage you to contact your elected state officials to ensure that Ledyard continues to receive a fair share of state and federal funding in the coming fiscal year.

Representative Mike France: 860-842-1423/800-842-1423; E-Mail: Mike.France@cga.ct.gov

Representative John Scott: 860-240-8700/800-842-8267; E-Mail: John.Scott@housegop.ct.gov

Senator Catherine Osten: 860-240-0579/800-842-1420; E-Mail: Osten@senatedems.ct.gov

Thank you for your interest and participation in Ledyard’s budget process and for taking the time to vote.

Sincerely,

Linda C. Davis

Chairman

Linda Davis has been a licensed real estate agent in Ledyard CT for over 35 years. She has a long history of community service and currently serves as Chairman/Deputy Mayor of  the Ledyard Town Council. Linda is the administer of the popular Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook and also teaches and speaks on technology, mostly for beginners. Linda can help with homes for sale in Ledyard as well as homes for sale in Eastern CT including, Groton, Mystic, Stonington, Norwich, Montville, New London, East Lyme, or Waterford.


Simply Ledyard Events

SimplyLedyardEventsSimply Ledyard Events is my attempt to capture local Ledyard Events including those found on Facebook. Please feel free to Fill out THIS FORM if you would like to include your Ledyard event in my next edition which will include April 15 through May 30th.  If you have previously submitted your event, there is no need to resubmit.

April 23 – Earth Day Clean Up
Ledyard Parks (9:00AM)
"Earth Day is dedicated to the environmental health of our planet. Here in Ledyard, the Parks and Rec Department is planning a Spring clean-up of some parks. Get your girl or Boy Scout Troop, your family, you organization or just yourself and help us clean up our Town. Do your part o help our little portion of the Earth. Please bring gloves".
Call Ledyard P&R to volunteer at 464-9112.

April 23 – Navy Shrederal Day
Navy Federal Credit Union (9AM – 1PM)
Not Ledyard but close enough.
For more information – www.navyfederal.org/shred

April 24 – Ledyard Animal Control Appreciation Day
Ledyard Animal Control   (10AM – 4PM)
Spring clean up day at the shelter. Everyone is welcome! Bring the kids, tell your friends, and round up the pets (they must be on leash and up to date on vaccines.) and come spend the day at the shelter.
We will be planting flowers, picking up downed limbs, spreading mulch, raking gravel, and beautifying where we can. We are asking each person to bring something that can either be used to work with such as shovels, rakes, a garden hose, garden gloves, etc.or that can be donated towards the beautification of the grounds such as bedding plants, flower bulbs, mulch, garden flags or some type of yard art. Remember pet themed items are appreciated!
For more information -  C.H.A.I.N. at 860-287-3504.

April 27 – Ledyard Early Childhood Care Exposition
Ledyard Public Schools available to assist with Kindergarten Registration!
Ledyard Congregational Church (4:30-6:30PM)
Come explore the different options available in the Ledyard community for early childhood care.
Hosted by the Early Childhood Council of Ledyard/GF

May 1 - Beautiful Mess Concert Benefiting the Ledyard Food Pantry
Ledyard Congregational Church (2:00PM)
Great music for a great cause! Beautiful Mess brings their contemporary sound and positive message to the LCC to benefit the Ledyard Food Pantry. Come and enjoy this band from Boston with roots in Ledyard. Admission is free. All proceeds form a love offering will benefit the Ledyard Food Pantry.
For more information - Janet 860-464-9926 -Beautifulmessp@gmail.com

May 7 – Taco and Enchilada Dinner
Benefits Missions Outreach
United Methodist Church of Gales ferry (5-7PM)
For more information – 860-464-7407
Mission Outreach

May 24 – Ledyard Garden Club Annual Plant Sale
Ledyard Congregational Church Hall (8:30AM – Noon)
The sale features perennials, annuals, shrubs, grasses, ground covers, vegetables and herbs as well as a garden related tag sale. Many are dug from members' gardens or grown by the Ledyard High School Ag Sci students. The prices are reasonable and there are helpful gardeners on site. Proceeds benefit the Lester House gardens, local youth scholarships and other community gardens that the group maintains.
For more information - Barbara Duncan, 860-464-2200 -ledyardgardenclub@gmail.com

Our 4th annual Spring Market will be bigger and better than ever! Featuring over 30 artisan vendors, farmers, food trucks, wine tastings, guided tractor tours and live music... this is southeastern CT's DON'T MISS event of the season!
 

In addition to the above events, you can find Ledyard Events on the following websites:

Ledyard Library Events
Ledyard Parks & Recreation Events
Town of Ledyard Meetings


New London County Real Estate

This report of Single Family Home Sales in New London County is generated by the 10th of each month with information from the previous month.  It includes new listings, pending and closed sales in New London County for the month of March.  What’s up and what's down from a year ago?  The number of closed sales Year to date (YTD)  in New London County is up 39% from a year ago and the number of new pending sales is up 18%. Our unseasonable weather compared to the harsh weather of last year is surely playing a part in these statistics. The median sold price of single family homes is down 3% from a year ago.  The number of active listings (1833) is up slightly from a year ago as well as up from February. Please note that statistics will vary from town to town.

For a complete (and easier to read) New London County Real Estate report including condos and single families click on the photo below. 

2016-04-15 New London County Real Estate

Copyright © 2016 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Data Source: CoreLogic. Statistics calculated March 7, 2016.

About the author:  Linda Davis has been a licensed real estate agent in Ledyard CT for over 35 years. She has a long history of community service and currently serves as Chairman/Deputy Mayor of  the Ledyard Town Council. Linda is the administer of the popular Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook and also teaches and speaks on technology, mostly for beginners. Linda can help with homes for sale in Ledyard as well as homes for sale in Eastern CT including, Groton, Mystic, Stonington, Norwich, Montville, New London, East Lyme, or Waterford.


Ledyard Town Wide Yard Sales 2016

It’s time to get ready for the Ledyard Town Wide Yard Sales. Based on suggestions after last year’s event, Merry Cassabria and I have decided to hold the event on two separate Saturdays from 8AM-3PM;  06339 on June 4th and 06335 on June 11th.  Last year we had 139 registered sellers and as a result it was impossible for buyers to visit all of the sales. This will also allow sellers to be buyers on opposite weeks.

Register for 06339 by visiting THIS LINK. You must be registered by May 21st to be included on our list.

Register for 06335 by visiting THIS LINK. You must be registered by May 28th to be included on our list.

Visit this website for updates as well as a map and list of addresses prior to the big event.

Any questions?  Email us at MerryandLinda@gmail.com .

Yard Sale P&R advertisement

The Hashtag for this event is #LedyardYardSales


Ledyard Real Estate Update

Ledyard Home SweetThere were 33 new listings in March. Here's the "almost" good news. There were 29 pending sales reported including those marked "show for backup". Ideally it would be good to see more pending sales than new listings in a given month but this is really encouraging news. When more pending sales are reported than new listings, prices will rise. Until then, our prices will remain flat. April is usually a huge listing month so we need to see lots of pending sales reported to begin a recovery. For now, we have between a 7-8 month supply of inventory based on our 90 closed sales in the past 6 months. 

Ledyard Real Estate Market

 

Real Estate News

The annual Public Hearing on the budget will be held on April 11th at 7:00PM in the Ledyard High School Auditorium. An increase in the mill rate from 30.40 to 32.86 is being proposed. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

On the Market

There are currently 103 single family homes on the market, exactly the same number as a month ago. The median list price is $214,900. There were 33 new listings reported in March. 

Current Pending Sales

There are currently 32 pending listings with a median list price of $174,900. There were 19 new pending listings in March.

There are currently 16 pending but "Show for Backup" with a median list price of $181,500. Homes are often listed as "Show for Backup" when there may be a concern about contract contingencies including financing. There were 10 reported in March.

Closed Sales

There are currently 36 closed sales in Ledyard with a median sales price of $204,000.

There were 11 closed listings in March. One year ago, we had 29 closed sales with a median price of only $177,000 so the first quarter of 2016 offers some very good news. 

While it is useful to follow month by month, a 6 month trend is a better indicator of market conditions.  The median price of the 90 homes that have closed in the past 6 months is $198,500. (Trending down.)

The median price of the 90 homes that have sold in the past 6 months is $198,500.

1 - 2015 Ledyard Home Sales

Data to Consider

This LINK will take you to New London County Market Statistics by Town, including Ledyard as prepared by the Eastern CT Association of Realtors using sales reported by the members of the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service. 

Listings and sales reported by the members of the CT MLS, Inc and may not represent all sales. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Linda Davis has been a licensed real estate agent in Ledyard CT for over 35 years. She has a long history of community service and currently serves as Chairman/Deputy Mayor of  the Ledyard Town Council. Linda is the administer of the popular Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook and also teaches and speaks on technology, mostly for beginners. Linda can help with homes for sale in Ledyard as well as homes for sale in Eastern CT including, Groton, Mystic, Stonington, Norwich, Montville, New London, East Lyme, or Waterford.


Simply Ledyard Events

Simply Ledyard EventsSimply Ledyard Events is my attempt to capture local Ledyard Events including those found on Facebook. Please feel free to Fill out THIS FORM if you would like to include your Ledyard event in our next edition.

 April 2 – Pancake Breakfast 
To benefit Multiple Sclerosis
Gallup Hill Baptist Church (8:30AM-12:30PM)
Suggested donation $10
For more information:  Casey Fry 619-804-8776

April 2 – Pancake Breakfast 
Ledyard Congregational Church (7:30-10:00AM)
722 Colonel Ledyard Highway
Pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, coffee. All are welcome, breakfast is free

April 2 – Ledyard High School Safe Grad Party Fundraiser Extravaganza
Our Lady of Lourdes Church (8:00AM – 6:30PM)
Bake Sale, Yard Sale, Vendor Booths, Face Painting, Games
For more info: Maureen_Brawner@comcast.net or babs3225@comcast.net

April 2 - Paint Class at The Drunken Palette
To benefit Sofia Sees Hope
259 State Street (7:00PM)
$55 includes painting supplies
For more information: info@sofiaseeshope.org

April 3 - Ledyard K-9 Unity Fundraiser & Bake Sale
To benefit Ledyard Police Department K-9 Unit
Ledyard Village Market (11:00AM-3:00PM)
For more information:  Cindy at Ledyard C.H.A.I.N. 860-287-3504

April 6 – How to Start your own Backyard Poultry Flock Workshop
Ledyard Regional FFA Food for All Grant Project
Ledyard High School Agri-Science Department (6:30-9:30 PM)
Free - RSVP to Mrs. O’Keefe at do’keefe@ledyard.net

April 6 - LHS After School Groups Recital
United Methodist Church ( 7:30PM) 
Come join us for an evening of instrumental and vocal music featuring many of the LHS ensembles. The concert is free and the public is invited
For more info:  RHammond@Ledyard.net

April 7 - How to Communicate with Your Children Using Social Media
Mylasia Thomas, Chairwoman, Mashantucket Tribal Youth Council 
Ledyard Safe Teens Coalition
Ledyard High School Library (6:30-8:00PM)

April 8 - The Ledyard Fire Company Family Pasta Dinner
Ledyard Congregational Church (5:00 -8:00PM)
Adults: $10 - Kids (6 - 12): $6 -Kids under 5 are free
Tickets will be sold at the door. Gluten-free pasta is available.

April 9 – The Ledyard Fire Company Open House
Ledyard Fire Company  11 Fairway Drive (10:00AM – 2:00PM)
Meet their members, visit their trucks and equipment.
Free - Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

April 9 – LHS Chamber Choir Silent Auction Fundraiser
Gales Ferry Firehouse (6-9PM)
$15.00 - Red Sox Tickets, Overnight Deluxe Accommodations at Foxwoods, Jerry Seinfeld concert and many other great gifts will be available at the Silent Auction. Good food and drink plus a performance by the LHS Chamber Choir and much more!
For more info:  RHammond@Ledyard.net

April 10– LHS Harvest of Harmony Concert
LHS Auditorium (2:00PM)
$15.00 - The concert is the annual spring show for the Rose City Chorus. The performance will feature lots of great Barbershop music and a guest performance by the LHS Chamber Choir

For more info:  RHammond@Ledyard.net

April 10 – Ledyard Animal Control Appreciation Day
Spring Cleaning Day at the Shelter
Ledyard Animal Shelter (10:00AM-4:00PM)
For more information:  Cindy at Ledyard C.H.A.I.N. 860-287-3504

April 15 – Registration opens for Ledyard Town Wide Yard Sales
.SimplyLedyard.com after April 15

April 23 – Earth Day Clean Up
Ledyard Parks (9:00AM)
"Earth Day is dedicated to the environmental health of our planet. Here in Ledyard, the Parks and Rec Department is planning a Spring clean-up of some parks. Get your girl or Boy Scout Troop, your family, you organization or just yourself and help us clean up our Town. Do your part o help our little portion of the Earth. Please bring gloves".
Call Ledyard P&R to volunteer at 464-9112.

In addition to the above events, you can find Ledyard Events on the following websites:

Ledyard Library Events
Ledyard Parks & Recreation Events
Town of Ledyard Meetings

 



 

 

 


Can you have two VA Mortgages at once?

Keith-TurnerWith Ledyard’s proximity to the Groton Submarine Base, we have our share of VA buyers. My first home in Ledyard was purchased using a VA loan when we moved here on Navy orders.  A question that is sometimes asked is “Can you have two VA Mortgages at once?”

My friend Keith Turner from McCue Mortgage has the answer:

”It’s not an everyday occurrence. But there are circumstances that allow VA buyers to have 2 or more VA loans at the same time. Typically, the scenario involves a VA homeowner who has to relocate to a new duty station but wants to keep and rent out his or her primary residence. But veteran homebuyers can look to do this, too.

For example, let’s say you have a buyer who bought a home at their current duty station and get orders a couple years later. Rather than sell the home, they want to rent it out and buy again at the new duty station.

As long as the buyer has enough “Entitlement”, then they won’t have to put an down-payment.  Don’t worry about figuring out the entitlement amount, etc.  That’s what I’m here for.

One of the challenges with this situation is meeting the debt-to-income ratio requirements, since you’re basically on the hook for two mortgage payments each month.  So while it is possible, there still has to be enough income there to carry both loans at once (just like any buyer).  Also, if they have a tenant locked into a lease who will cover those old monthly payments can help a lot towards making this work.”

You will find Keith’s contact information HERE.


Simply Ledyard Events

Coming Soon!Mark your CalendarI've been planning a project forever that I'm launching next week. Some of my projects don’t work out and others,  like my Town Wide Yard Sale have been really popular. I think this idea has promise! I'm creating an ongoing calendar for my Simply Ledyard blog called Simply Ledyard Events. Simply Ledyard Events is my attempt to capture local Ledyard Events including those found on Facebook. Fill out THIS FORM if your group would like some free publicity on my blog and other social media platforms.


The best month to sell your Ledyard home?

CrocusI am often asked about timing when it comes to selling a home in Ledyard.   There is no question that spring time sees the most buyer activity with closings taking place about 45-60 days later when school ends in June. In the past 5 years, this trend continued with only one exception (2014) when the number of home sales peaked in March.

The chart below points out another factor when it comes to buyer activity.  2015 was the year that brought what seemed to be an endless series of snowstorms to the area. Showing houses was challenging, buyers stayed home and March closings plummeted. Fortunately 2016 has started off milder and although a storm is predicted for today, the first day of spring, I expect we will see a more typical spring market and a good closing month in June.

If you are thinking about selling your home this spring or anytime this year, please call me. We would be happy to provide you with a market analysis on your home and a copy of Dress Your House for Success, a checklist to help you sell your home for the best price in the least amount of time in spring or anytime of the year.

 

Ledyard Home Sales by Month

Listings and sales reported by the members of the CT MLS, Inc and may not represent all sales. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.


New London County Real Estate

This report of Single Family Home Sales in New London County is generated by the 10th of each month with information from the previous month.  It includes new listings, pending and closed sales in New London County for the month of Februray.  What’s up and what's down from a year ago?  The number of closed sales Year to date (YTD)  in New London County is up 63% from a year ago and the number of new pending sales is up 24%. Our unseasonable weather compared to the harsh weather of last year is surely playing a part in these statistics. The median sold price of single family homes is flat from a year ago.  The number of active listings (1683) is almost identical to a year ago and down slightly from January. Please note that statistics will vary from town to town.

For a complete (and easier to read) New London County Real Estate report including condos and single families click on the photo below. 

New London County Home Sales Feb

 

Copyright © 2016 RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Data Source: CoreLogic. Statistics calculated March 7, 2016.

About the author:  Linda Davis has been a licensed real estate agent in Ledyard CT for over 35 years. She has a long history of community service and currently serves as Chairman/Deputy Mayor of  the Ledyard Town Council. Linda is the administer of the popular Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook and also teaches and speaks on technology, mostly for beginners. Linda can help with homes for sale in Ledyard as well as homes for sale in Eastern CT including, Groton, Mystic, Stonington, Norwich, Montville, New London, East Lyme, or Waterford.