What’s going to be decided this year at Town Meeting? Here’s a quick rundown of your Town Meeting and what to expect.
You’ll have to elect a handful of Town Officers, including the Moderator, three Selectboard members, a Town Clerk, a Treasurer, a lister, an Auditor, three planning commissioners, a constable, animal control officer, collector of delinquent taxes, grand juror, town agent, cemetery commissioner, two Library trustees, a Trustee of public funds, a hospital committee member, and a committee person for the Brigham Academy committee.
Proposed this year for winter road maintenance is $137,000, and summer maintenance is $120,000. That is the same as last year, which also remained the same from the previous year.
The Town is asking for taxpayers to foot the bill for $203,053 in the general fund, that’s an increase of $19.41% over last year’s general fund tax support, but that is likely due to the addition of Enosburg Ambulance Service contract being added to the Town’s General Fund instead of being a separate line item.
The Library is requesting $33,681, which is a level fund from last year.
Click here for the Bakersfield Town and School Report.
Bakersfield School District
The voters will elect a moderator, two school directors, and the budget by Australian Ballot on Town Meeting day, but the night before, on Monday, voters will take on the subject of transferring $50,000 of unreserved balance from the 2016-17 fiscal year into the Capital Project Fund.
Voters will also be asked to consider selling the former Common School property to the Town of Bakersfield for one dollar.
The proposed School’s Budget comes in at $3,207,519. That’s $13,549 per equalized pupil and an increase of 5.54%. That figure is often times downplayed because it can change drastically in small schools when just a few students move into or out of the town.
If you consider last year’s school budget versus this year’s proposed budget, the actual, overall change in spending is a decrease of 1.63%.
Click here for the Bakersfield Town and School Report.
Berkshire Town & School
The substantial voting this year takes place via Australian Ballot, both for the School and the Town. On Monday, voters will be given a chance to discuss the items that will be voted on by Australian Ballot but will not be able to make motions to change anything on the Australian Ballot.
Voters will also be given a chance to bring up any other non-binding business.
On Tuesday, voters will decide on the following officers: Moderator (Loren Doe is on the ballot), Selectperson for 3 years (Vincent Hickey is on the ballot), Selectperson for 2 years (Anthony Lussier is on the ballot), Lister (Nobody is on the ballot), Auditor (Sheila Trudeau is on the ballot), Delinquent Tax Collector (Virginia Messier is on the ballot), Grand Juror (Troy Masse is on the ballot), Town Agent (Doug Weld is on the ballot).
Voters will also be able to vote on the Town’s Budget of $945,034.81 (of which $632,644.10 is to be raised by taxes). That budget is relatively level funded, down about $1,800 from the previous year.
For the School District, an article will cover the school budget of $4,323,211.00.
The following officers are up for election: Moderator (Loren Doe is on the ballot), School Director for three years (Lisa Hango is on the ballot), School Director for two years (Lianne Trombley is on the ballot).
Click here for the Berkshire Town and School Report.
Via Australian Ballot, voters will elect officers to the following seats: Moderator (Pat Hayes is on the ballot), Town Clerk for three years (Billie Jo Draper is on the ballot), Treasurer for three years (Billie Jo Draper is on the ballot), Selectperson for two years (Dean Wright is on the ballot), Selectperson for three years (Larry Gervais is on the ballot), Three members of the Town Forest Committee, each one year terms (Sarah Downes, Ben Madox, Dennis Williams are all on the ballot), Collector of Delinquent Taxes for a term of one year (Frances Jackson is on the ballot), Town Agent, two Grand Jurors, two Listers (nobody is listed on the ballot).
Voters will be given a chance to vote on $24,798 to be split among 20 community organizations in Enosburgh and around the county.
Possibly the biggest issue on the agenda this year, a measure that would give the Selectboard the authority to enter into contracts with taxpayers from commercial and industrial properties, to negotiate and stabilize their taxes.
Voters will be asked to vote on the purchase of a new ambulance, at a rate of $142,734.00, to be financed for up to seven years. That vote will occur by Australian ballot.
Click here for the Enosburgh Town and School Report
Enosburgh Road District
After the General Fund meeting, voters of the Road District (any Enosburgh resident who is not also a resident of the Village of Enosburg Falls), will decide on a budget for the Enosburgh Road District. According to the annual Town Report, the road district budget comes in at $1,004,500.00. That’s an increase of 11.9% over last year’s budget, though the actual expenses for last year came in at $1,044,128, which is about $40,000 more than this year’s budget.
Much of the increase in spending comes from a $175,000 paving grant that was not included in last year’s budget, giving the Road District a windfall to do more work.
Considering the added revenue, the Road District carried over about $112,741 into the 2018 budget. That reduces the tax burden for the road district taxpayers from $619,793 to $588,158, a decrease of about 5.1%.
Click here for the Enosburgh Town and School Report.
Fairfax Town & School District
The voters of Fairfax will be able to discuss items being voted on during Australian Ballot, which includes the Town Budget of $2,878,293.
Voters will also be given a chance to discuss allocating $10,000 for the sidewalk improvement fund; $84,134 for ambulance coverage from Fairfax Rescue; $25,477 to 20 area organizations.
On the School District side of the ballot, a budget of $12,282,123 is being proposed, with an additional article asking voters to support $300,000 for renovations at the school.
Up for election are the following offices: Town Moderator for one year (Roberta Rodimer is on the ballot), Selectperson for three years (Sheri Rainville is on the ballot), Selectperson for two years (Duane Leach is on the ballot), Town Agent for one year (Steve Cormier is on the ballot), Town Grand Juror (Steve Cormier is on the ballot), two Library Trustees (Patricia Gallant and Ellen F. Holmes-Henry are on the ballot), First Constable (nobody is listed on the ballot), Cemetery Commissioner (Dale Bellows is on the ballot), Delinquent Tax Collector (Johanna R. Blake is on the ballot), School Moderator (Roberta Rodimer is on the ballot), School Director for three years (Scott Mitchell is on the ballot), School Director for two years (Sandra-Lee Alexander and Dean Decker are on the ballot).
Click here for the Fairfax Town and School Report.
Voters will be asked to elect the following officers: Selectperson for three years, Selectperson for two years, Auditor for three years, Lister for three years, Library Trustee for three years, Library Trustee for two years, Constable for one year, Grand Juror for one year, and Town Agent for one year.
Voters will also get a chance to weigh in on the Town’s $1,499,342 budget, which is an increase of more than 12% over the actual budget spent by the town last year. The amount that is proposed to be raised by taxes is an increase of 14.75% to $1,020,019.
Residents will also be asked to appropriate $92,225 for the Fairfield Fire Department, $15,000 for the Fairfield Community Center, $3,971 for Franklin County Home Health, $2,500 for the Outdoor Classroom program, $1,000 for Franklin County Animal Rescue. All of those organizations are seeking a flat funding allocation from the town.
Voters will also be asked to support a resolution that would be forwarded to the State Agency of Transportation to repave and rebuild Route 36 in Fairfield.
In addition to town business, residents will be asked to vote on business for the Maple Run Unified School District, which also includes St. Albans Town and St. Albans City.
The following positions will be up for election: Clerk for one year (Amanda Forbes is on the ballot), District Treasurer (Amanda Forbes is on the ballot), District Director for Fairfield (Bennette Dawson and Susan Casavant Magnan are both on the ballot), District Director for St. Albans Town (Steven Larosa is on the ballot), District Director for St. Albans City (Nilda Gonnella-French and Jeff Morrill are both on the ballot).
Voters will also be asked if they will approve the budget of $54,529,488 to fund the school district from July of 2018 through June of 2019. That budget represents and increases of $3.16% per equalized pupil over last year’s budget.
Click here for the Fairfax Town and School Report.
Do you know where there is “an extraordinarily good deal” on a grader? If so, Article 6 may be of interest to you. Voters will be asked to approve spending up to $150,000 on a used grader, but only if the Town can find an “extraordinary deal” on one.
In addition to voting a general fund budget, which is done on the floor, voters will also be asked to support two resolutions asking for the repaving of Route 36 and the Fletcher/Fairfax road.
The Fairfax/Fletcher Road is in the Town of Fairfax, and the resolution asks for the Town of Fairfax to do the paving project, whereas the Route 36 project asks the State of Vermont to repave and rebuild that road.
You’ll be asked to elect two select board members, a Moderator, a Lister, an Auditor, and a Town Agent.
Click here for the Fletcher Town and School Report
Fletcher School District
School voters will be asked to elect a Moderator, Clerk, and two School Directors. In addition, a budget of $3,277,229 is being asked for in order to fund the school system for another year. That breaks down to $15,571.91 per equalized pupil, which is an increase of 12.34%. That figure is often times downplayed because it can change drastically in small schools when just a few students move into or out of the town.
The overall budget for the school is an increase of 8.4%.
This increase is in lieu of decreasing teachers by one.
Much of the increase can be associated to an increase in spending for special education at the Supervisory Union level, an increase of 52.24%, according to the Annual Report published by the school, that money is an unfunded state mandate.
Click here for the Fletcher Town and School Report
Franklin Town and School
Voters will be asked to elect a Moderator for one year and a School Director for three years.
In addition, a budget of $1,787,790 is being proposed. That is an increase of 3.87% per equalized pupil over last year’s budget.
New this year, the voters will be asked if they want to vote on the supervisory union budget separately from the remaining school budget. The drive for this is a rising supervisory union budget, and an inability for voters to directly influence it. If voters approve that, the non-binding measure would not necessarily change anything, but instead would guide the board in future decisions.
As for Town business, voters will elect a Selectboard member for three years, a Selectboard member for two years, a Lister, and Auditor, a Trustee of public money, a Trustee of the Haston Library Fund, three Haston Library Trustees, a Collector of Delinquent Taxes, a Constable, a Town Agent, a grand juror, one representative to the Franklin Homestead Inc. Board of Directors, and a Cemetery Commissioner.
In addition, residents will be asked to approve a budget, expected to be $862,293, which is an increase over last year’s budget of 7.35%.
Also up for discussion at town meeting is $16,000 for the recreation department, $40,700 as a grant match for the replacement of a culvert on the Hannah Road, $10,000 for water quality management on Lake Carmi, and $80,000 over a five year period for the purchase of a loader.
Click here for the Franklin Town and School Report
Georgia Town & School
You’ll be electing a moderator, four out of five Selectboard members, two Constables, two Auditors, four Library Trustees, a Grand Juror, a Town Agent, and two Planning Commissioners.
In addition, you will be asked to fund your local government for 2018, at a proposed cost of 1,687,593. That’s an increase of 1.16% over last year’s approved budget. The overall money being proposed in this year’s budget is an increase of 11.72%, though much of that is anticipated to be offset by revenue.
For the School Meeting, voters will be electing three School Directors and a Moderator. They will also be voting on a $12,317,033 budget, that breaks down to $14,037 per equalized pupil. That is an increase of 2.08%, but that figure is often downplayed due to its ability to change quickly based on students moving in and out of the district.
The overall difference in the school budget being proposed is actually a 1.96% decrease from the preceding year’s budget.
Click here for the Georgia Town and School Report
Highgate Town & School
You’ be electing a Moderator, Town Agent, two Selectboard members, a Lister, two Trustees of Funds, two Library Trustees, and a Cemetery Commissioner.
In addition to electing town officers, you’ll be asked to have all questions in future meetings be voted on entirely by Australian ballot.
Voters will be asked to set aside $50,000 for future use for the Highgate Library and Community Center building fund.
An article asking for $278,500 is also planned to fund a Capital Improvement Plan, all of that money would come from taxpayers.
The Highway fund comes in at $764,716 this year. That’s an increase of just over 6% from last year’s budget.
The General Fund is proposed at $1,022,590, with $467,050 coming from taxpayers.
Likely to be the most controversial topic for Town Meeting this year in Highgate is a measure that asks voters which ambulance service they would like to contract with.
The actual article asks voters if they would like to contract with Missisquoi Valley Rescue beginning on July 19th, 2019.
The article was part of a legal settlement between the Town of Highgate and Missisquoi Valley Rescue.
If approved, the Town would have to contract with Missisquoi Valley Rescue.
If voted down, the Town selectboard would then be able to contract with any agency they choose, including Missisquoi Valley Rescue.
For the School portion of the meeting, voters will elect three School Directors and a Moderator as well as vote on the $5,125,240 budget for the School. That budget comes in at $13,757 per equalized pupil, which is 0.37% higher than last year.
The equalized pupil cost is often argued to be an inadequate way of representing the change in the budget. Overall the budget increases by $142,600, or about 2.86% increase from last year’s overall budget.
Click here for the Highgate Town and School Report
Maple Run Unified School District
(Fairfield, St. Albans Town,
St. Albans City)
Voters will be decided by Australian ballot to elect a Clerk, Treasurer, and three School Directors, one from each town.
The budget for the district is proposed at $54,529,488. That’s $15,481, representing an increase of 3.16%. The equalized pupil is often times dismissed as a bad way of looking at the change in the cost of education, but if you consider the overall change in the budget, spending is proposed to have an increase of 1.21%.
Click here for the Maple Run School District Report
Missisquoi Valley Union School District
Voters will be asked to elect a moderator (Timothy Magnant is on the ballot), a clerk (Erica Benoit is on the ballot), a Treasurer (Robin Blouin is on the ballot), a School Director for Franklin (Vickie Gratton is on the ballot), a school director for Highgate (Marc Bessette is on the ballot), a School Director from Swanton (Gregg Gervais is on the ballot).
In addition to officers, you’ll be asked to cast your support for a $14,685,738 budget. That is a decrease of 0.07% per equalized pupil.
Not lumped into the general fund, the voters for Missisquoi Valley Union School District are being asked to weigh in on supporting the Football Program, at a cost of $10,000, that’s 0.068% of the school’s budget.
Click here for the Missisquoi Valley Union High School Report
With all Montgomery Town Meetings, everything is voted on by the floor.
You’ll start by electing several town officers, here’s a list of what offices are being elected:
A selectperson for a term of two years. The Selectboard appointed Leanne Barnard to fill the remainder of Colin Sorenson’s term but will need the populous to extend that appointment beyond town meeting day.
A selectperson for a three-year term. This position is currently being held by Mark Brouillette.
The Town Clerk and Treasurer positions are also expiring and will need to be refilled, both positions are currently being held by Deanna-Dee Robitaille, and both positions are three-year terms.
A handful of smaller positions are also in need of filling, they are Lister, First Constable, Town Agent, Grand Juror, Cemetery Commissioner, three Library Trustees, Fire Commissioner, and two Planning Commissioners.
The voters will also be asked to disband their law enforcement, Rescue Department, and Hectorville bridge funds and turn the money over into the general fund where it would be paid out in the future.
Click here for the Montgomery Town and School Report
Expect a fairly quiet town meeting in Richford this year, with most of the items being voted on by Australian ballot, it will likely be little more than an informational meeting on Monday evening.
By Australian ballot, you’ll be electing a moderator, town clerk, town treasurer, two selectpersons, an auditor, a lister, a town grand juror, a town agent, a constable, and three planning commission members.
You’ll also be asked to support a budget of $2,349,201. That’s a 3.95% increase in spending over last year’s budget.
As for the school district, you’ll be electing a moderator and two school directors.
You’ll also be asked to transfer $100,000 of unspent money from last year to the capital reserve fund.
The proposed budget ticks in at $5,978,592. That represents a cost per equalized pupil of $12,147, an increase of 5.34%. Many critiques the equalized pupil cost as a poor way to assess school funding costs. If you look at the overall spending, the budget is looking at a 1.49% decrease.
Click here for the Richford Town and School Report
Sheldon Town & School
Sheldon Town will need to elect a Moderator, Selectboard member, Auditor, Lister, Tax Collector, Town Agent and Grand Juror.
In addition to the town officers, Sheldon will be voting on a budget, currently proposed at $972,046.
Likely to be the most discussed and awaited article, voters will get a chance to weigh in on the purchase of a new fire engine, at a price of $367,527. The fire department plans to use the fire truck as their new front line engine, and use their next most modern fire engine to use a as water supply truck.
That will essentially phase out the department’s fire engine that was custom built for the Town in 1989.
As for the school district, the town will decide on a $5,752,513 budget, which tallies up to a $13,702 per pupil in spending, or 4.3%.
The price per pupil is often considered a poor way to evaluate school spending, so if you want to consider the overall budget difference from year to year, this year’s budget comes in at 2% increase in spending.
Click here for the Sheldon Town and School Report
St. Albans Town
You will be voting everything by Australian ballot, including the election of officers for two Selectperson positions, a Town Clerk, Town Treasurer, Delinquent Tax Collector, Lister, First Constable, Grand Juror, Town Agent, and Library Trustee.
You’ll also be asked to fund a $3,832,617 General Fund Budget.
Up for decision is the replacement of a town dump truck, with a cost of up to $191,000 with funds that were already collected, and replenish the fund with $19,000 per year for ten years.
Click here for the St. Albans Town Report
St. Albans City
In addition to electing a city counselor for Wards three and four, and two trustees for the library, voters will need to decide on a city budget of $8,124,275. That’s an increase of 2.74%. According to city records, that should provide a tax rate of about $0.8775.
Click here for the St. Albans City Report
Voters will be electing town officers in the following positions: two Selectboard members, a Lister, an Auditor, two School Directors, a Trustee of public money, two Cemetery Commissioners, a Town Grand Juror, a Town Agent, and a Collector of Delinquent Taxes.
A proposed budget of $849,040.60 is up for a vote, as is a $212,625 for fire coverage from Swanton Village.
$110,086 is being budgeted for police coverage.
As for the School District, voters will have a chance to weigh in on $8,397,480 budget. That breaks down to $13,266 per equalized pupil, or a decrease of 7.25%.
Many people look at the per pupil as a poor way to evaluate school spending, so if you look at the overall budget, school spending is actually decreasing 0.07%.
Click here for the Swanton Town and School Report
Voters will be voting to elect four officers: President for one year term, Trustee for a three-year term, Clerk for a one year term, and a collector of delinquent taxes for a one year term.
The General Fund in Swanton Village comes in at $125,735, that is a very slight increase over last year’s budget.
Voters will also be asked to support $515,358 for the Highway Department, a decrease from last year.
Voters will also be asked to fork over up to $435,000, to rebuild the waterline that feeds Missisquoi Valley Union High School. The bond would not exceed that price but could be less if grants and school funds were able to be used to offset some of the prices.
Possibly, most notably, the Village Fire Department is asking for $1,442,500, to be financed for up to 15 years, to purchase a pair of fire trucks, one fire engine, and one ladder truck. The proposal also includes utilizing $76,650 from the capital reserve fund.
Click here for the Swanton Village Report