Town Meeting Wrap 2015: Cornwall

CORNWALL — Cornwall residents at their town meeting elected Magna Dodge in a contested race for the selectboard and passed all of the money items on their warning.
Dodge defeated Brian Kemp, 116-98, amid a turnout of 224 voters — that’s 25 percent of the total registered voters in town.
Residents passed, by voice vote at Monday evening’s meeting, a fiscal year 2016 general fund budget of $486,610 and a highway budget request of $400,250.
Voters on Monday also agreed to absorb a $56,896 budget deficit carried over from the 2013-2014 fiscal year. That deficit will be reflected in the new property tax rate that the selectboard will set this summer. The deficit is primarily associated with a lag in the collection of delinquent taxes.
Residents also endorsed, by voice vote, a Bingham Memorial School budget of $1,497,298, which represents a 3.17-percent increase compared with this year’s spending plan. It should be noted that town meeting attendees discussed the future of the school for around 30 minutes. Among other things, residents made note of the school’s declining enrollment and the fact that the aging school building might soon require a significant capital investment. Residents also noted current discussions at the Vermont Statehouse about education finance reform and possible consolidation of schools and/or school governance.
Additional articles seeking $57,400 in funding for the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department; $4,000 for the Cornwall Free Public Library; and a combined total of $22,256 for various Addison County social service organizations, all passed comfortably.
Elected unopposed to local offices were Cy Tall for one year as town moderator; Sue Johnson, three years as town clerk and treasurer; John Roberts, for three years as selectman; Ben Wood, two years as selectman; and Maureen Deppman and Kristianne Tolgyesi, three years and two years, respectively, on the Cornwall school board. Also, Sarah Kemp was elected to fill the one-year balance of an unexpired term on the Cornwall school board.

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