New Haven voters correct budget, affirm ballots

NEW HAVEN — Voters in New Haven on Tuesday remedied an error in the town’s General Fund budget by approving, in Australian ballot voting, a supplemental spending increase of $218,997, which will be used to pay off owed school taxes to the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union.
There were 202 ballots cast; the supplemental budget increase passed 136-66.
Voters also rejected an article that would have changed town meeting procedure in upcoming years to vote on town budgets by voice vote, instead of by Australian ballot. That article failed, 164-38.
In a voice vote at a special town meeting on Monday, around 75 voters in attendance voted to move the start time of the annual March town meeting to 6:30 p.m. in coming years from 4:30 p.m. The annual fundraising dinner will be held prior to the meeting.
Town officials learned at the end of March that New Haven owed $218,997 in school taxes to the ANeSU. 
“During the budget process, the treasurer and selectboard questioned the amount of surplus in the General Fund since it was so large and unexpected,” selectboard chair Kathleen Barrett wrote in a letter to voters. “We could not fully explain the surplus and the only figure that we had no control over was the amount paid to schools.”
Town Clerk Barb Torian checked the paperwork and in January the selectboard double-checked with ANeSU’s office that the full amount had been paid. Though the district office replied that New Haven had paid the full amount, a mistake had been made. In March, the district office discovered the error and informed New Haven that nearly a quarter of a million dollars was owed.
Town officials say they are taking steps to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. 

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