Town Meeting Preview 2015: Bristol
BRISTOL — Voters in Bristol will convene on March 2 at 7 p.m. in Holley Hall to weigh in on the 20 articles on the town meeting warning.
The selectboard is asking townspeople to approve a budget that features spending $714,041 for the highway fund, $607,735 of which is to be raised by taxes. The highway fund sum is almost exactly the same as last year.
Voters will also decide the fate of a general fund spending proposal of $771,424, of which $553,817 would be raised through taxation. The general fund proposal is 8.0 percent higher than the sum approved by voters last year. This year’s proposal would also take $10,000 from an undesignated fund balance to limit the property tax increase.
Town Administrator Therese Kirby said some general fund cost drivers include contributions to the landfill closure fund and rent to store Bristol Fire Department vehicles offsite.
Also to be considered is a proposed $255,489 budget for spending on the arts, parks and recreation department, of which $173,239 would be raised by taxes.
The selectboard is also asking voters to approve reserve fund deposits for the following purposes and amount:
• $20,000 to the Capital Fire Equipment Reserve.
• $85,000 for the Capital Highway Equipment Reserve.
• $20,000 for the Capital Building Reserve.
• $35,000 for the Capital Road Fund for construction.
• $100,000 for the Capital Road Fund for paving.
Other spending items up for consideration include:
• A budget of $129,543 for Lawrence Memorial Library, the sum to be raised by taxes.
• $15,000 to improve the Bristol Recreation Club facilities.
• $10,706 to ACTR for bus service to the town.
• $10,000 to the Bristol Downtown Community Partnership.
• $12,000 to the Bristol Rescue Squad.
• $7,000 to the Bristol Cemetery Association.
Voters who live in the police district will approve or reject a budget to fund the Bristol Police Department that totals $396,220, of which $345,695 would be raised through taxes. The proposal would also take $20,000 in unappropriated money from the 2014 fund balance and put it towards next year’s budget, to keep taxes down.
Voters by Australian ballot will also decide whether to approve the proposed $4.93 million spending plan for Bristol Elementary School, which is 2.76 more than the current budget.
Residents will also elect town officials on a ballot that features no contested races. Two selectboard seats are up for grabs, and incumbents Joel Bouvier and John “Peeker” Heffernan hope to be re-elected. Bristol Elementary School board incumbents Chris Scrodin and Sheryl Thurber are each vying for new one-year terms, while newcomer Krista Siringo is seeking the three-year term. Kris Pearsall is asking voters to return her as one of Bristol’s representatives to the Mount Abraham Union High School board.
Jen Stetson Myers, who was appointed to the town clerk and treasurer positions last year, hopes to receive a mandate from voters to return her to those posts. Bristol Police Chief Kevin Gibbs is running for first constable while Ken Marcelle is running for second constable.
Other candidates include Fred Baser for town and school moderator, Frank Bounincontro for grand juror, Theresa Gile for lister, Therese Kirby for delinquent tax collector and Caroline Engvall and Jill Mackler for two library trustee positions.
Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, at Holley Hall.
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