Voters back ID-4 budget

MIDDLEBURY — Fewer than 20 Middlebury voters met on Wednesday, April 14, to support a proposed 2010-2011 ID-4 budget of $5,771,990 and a plan to spend up to $191,100 on pavement and drainage upgrades to the Mary Hogan Elementary School grounds.
Approximately 18 local voters attended the annual meeting held at the school, a gathering that lasted around an hour, ID-4 school board Chairwoman Lucy Schumer said. During that time, school officials and engineers fielded various questions about the budget and project, respectively.
“It was very smooth,” Schumer said in describing the flow of the meeting.
ID-4 officials had hoped to draw more people to the annual gathering, which this year fell during a school vacation week. By school charter, the ID-4 budget must be voted on the “second Wednesday in April.”
The approved ID-4 budget represents a 1.52-percent spending increase compared to this year. It reflects no new programs, nor any additional teaching staff. It represents a decrease of $87 in spending per pupil (from $13,539 to $13,452), as the school anticipates welcoming eight additional students next year, for a potential total of 395, according to ID-4 officials.
Also at the meeting, voters gave school directors permission to go ahead with a drainage, grading and resurfacing project for the asphalt-based playground areas and emergency vehicle route on the Mary Hogan Elementary School grounds.
Work will include repairs to asphalt surface on the playground areas east and north of the school buildings, as well as the emergency vehicle access route leading to the back of the building.
Cost of the repairs has been placed at around $191,100, a price tag that will not add to Middlebury’s education property tax rate. That’s because the school has adequate reserves in three separate accounts to cover the project. Voters on Wednesday gave their permission to release the money.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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