The Town of New Canaan's 2011 budget reached the final stage of the vetting process Wednesday night when the Town Council granted its approval of the nearly $119 million proposal.

The 2011 budget represents a 3.27 percent increase from the current budget.

Town Council Chairman Mark Dewaele said the budget process was completed with nothing short of thousands of hours worth of vetting.

"I've been doing this for five or six years now, and I think this season was probably the smoothest," he said. "I think this is a budget that is going to meet the needs of the town -- not the wants, in this very tight economic environment."

Town Council members unanimously approved every line item, except the addition of a $93,070 salaried position for a budget director, which Town Council member Paul Foley opposed. The new general government position hikes up the finance department's budget more than 20 percent from the current $486,769 budget.

"I understand the need for it, but I think at this point in time the cycle in town is that we can't afford to have a $90,000 plus benefits person addition to the budget," Foley said in a pre-budget discussion meeting Wednesday night.

He added, "It's just not the right message that I think we want to be sending at this point in time. We're going into regular negotiations with unions in town; they look at this and say, `You guys are up almost 9 percent in the general government and you want us to take all the cuts.' So, I just don't think it's the right thing for us to be doing at this point in time."