2016 Goshen Town Meeting Preview

GOSHEN — Residents of tiny Goshen will be considering some relatively large increases in the highway and town budgets at their annual town meeting next Monday evening.
When voters gather at the town hall at 7 p.m. (a potluck dinner will precede the town meeting at 5:30 p.m.) on Feb. 29, they will consider a proposed general fund spending plan of $233,173, which is about 10 percent larger than the $211,898 general fund budget they approved last March. They will also be asked to OK $191,200 in spending on highways, which is 40 percent more than the $136,200 approved last year.
Percentagewise that highway funding would represent a big change, but in absolute figures it is a $55,000 increase. And, while it is a larger request than in some years, as recently as 2013 Goshen voters approved a $228,483 highway budget.
For the first time, voters in the new Otter Valley Unified Union school district will vote on a budget that encompasses school costs in Brandon, Goshen, Leicester, Pittsford, Sudbury and Whiting, as well as at Otter Valley Union High School. Proposed spending for fiscal year 2016-2017 is $22,604,806, which represents education spending of $14,495 per equalized pupil. Goshen residents will vote on this figure by Australian ballot on Tuesday.
Goshen is the only town in the OVUU that would see education taxes rise if that spending plan is approved, according to a estimates developed by the RNeSU business manager. That estimates projects that the homestead property tax rate in Goshen would rise from $1.19 this year to $1.29 next year.
Because the OVUU unified district wasn’t approved until just this winter, towns had to warn budgets for their town school and OVUHS (in case voters petitioned to reconsider the unified district by Feb. 19, which they didn’t). So Goshen voters will also vote on the Goshen School District budget of $233,975 and the OVUHS budget ($10,752,257). As long as the Otter Valley Unified Union budget passes, those votes will be irrelevant.
Australian ballot voting will take place at town hall from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. In addition to voting on the proposed OVUU spending plan of $22,604,806, Goshen residents will vote on a slate of town officials, though there are no contested races. Among those incumbents up for election are Selectman David McKinnon, Town Clerk Rosemary McKinnon, Treasurer Vickee Whiting, second constable Shawn Martin and town and school moderator Kevin O’Classen.

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