Archive - Feb 11, 2008
By CYRUS LEVESQUE
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board of directors has signed off on a spending plan totaling $12,919,874 for the 2008-2009 school year.
The plan represents a proposed increase in spending of 6.37 percent over the current year’s budget, but officials attributed almost half of that increase to the fact that in past years busing costs appeared in elementary school budgets but this year they appear in the high school budgets.
According to Mount Abe school board Chairman Lanny Smith, the effective proposed increase in spending is about 3.2 percent.
Residents of Addison Northeast Supervisory Union towns — Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro — will vote on the proposed Mount Abe spending plan, approved at the board’s Jan. 22 meeting, on Town Meeting Day. Supervisory union business manager Greg Burdick said that education tax rates had not been set by the state legislature as the Addison Independent went to press, so the exact impact of the budget on area towns cannot yet be determined.
By JOHN FLOWERS
BRIDPORT — Bridport voters on Town Meeting Day will be asked to approve a 20-year, $1.25 million bond issue to finance some major repairs to their elementary school, including installation of a new roof.
The repair plan is not only dependant on a “yes” vote from the public on March 4, but also action by the Legislature this session.
The legislative action is needed because as the state’s education funding laws are written, any time a town exceeds the statewide average for per-pupil spending by a specific percentage then the education tax rate on the town’s property is increased by a factor of two as a penalty. Since the state isn’t providing any aid for school building projects, the entire $1.25 million cost of the Bridport project would be counted in the per-pupil spending of the town, pushing it over the statewide average and resulting in the penalty being assessed in the town’s education property tax.
By MEGAN JAMES
MIDDLEBURY — The first time Laura Thomas performed in a New York City club, only two people showed up to hear her play. One of them was a friend of hers.
“It was humiliating in a way, but strengthening in a way,” the singer-songwriter and guitarist said.
Seven years and plenty of grunt work later, the Middlebury College graduate is making a name for herself, and her five-member band, in the Big Apple and beyond.
On Friday, Feb. 29, the Laura Thomas Band will return to the hometown of their alma mater of three of its members — Thomas graduated from Middlebury College in 1996, lead guitarist Chris Farrell graduated in ’98 and violinist Ben Lively graduated in ’99 — to perform at Middlebury’s Two Brothers Tavern.