2016 Weybridge Town Meeting Preview

WEYBRIDGE — Weybridge voters at this year’s town meeting will decide two contested selectboard races and determine whether the community should become a full member of the Lemon Fair Insect Control District (LFICD).
Residents Robert Foster, T. Charles Jordan and Megan Sutton are competing for a three-year term on the selectboard. Separately, T. Charles Jordan and Alix O’Meara are vying for a one-year term on the panel.
There are no other contested local elections on the Weybridge ballot. Daniel James is running unopposed for a two-year spot on the selectboard; Spence Putnam is running for a one-year term as moderator; and Justin Perdue and Jennifer Richmond are assured terms of one year and three years, respectively, on the Weybridge Elementary School Board.
Christopher Eaton has no rivals in his bid for a three-year term on a proposed new Addison Central School District Board. Weybridge and the other six towns in the Addison Central Supervisory Union will be voting to fill all 13 slots on this new board, which would govern all schools within the ACSU under a single budget (see related story, Page 1A). The election of the new board is, of course, contingent on ACSU voters approving unification of their school governance, which will be a separate question on the Town Meeting Day ballot.
Local residents will be asked if they want Weybridge to become a full member of the LFICD. The town has thus far been receiving insect control services as a client of the district. The road to full membership includes a requirement that Weybridge continue to pay $10,000 annually for services “until such time as (Weybridge’s) investment equals Cornwall and Bridport’s initial contributions of $40,000,” according to article 9 of the town meeting warning. “By 2019, the annual payment will go down to match the other towns.”
The selectboard is seeking support for a 2016-2017 highway budget of $413,436, up from the $397,710 that voters approved last year. The general fund proposal comes in at $119,913, up from $81,383. It should be noted that this year’s general fund budget is down around $17,000 compared to the 2014-2015 spending plan of $98,838.
Other articles on the Weybridge town meeting warning seek:
• Permission to apply $179,294 in surplus funds toward the purchase of a new municipal truck and/or tractor with roadside mower for the town’s highway department.
• $128,000 to purchase a John Deere 6110M roadside mower for the highway department.
• $25,000 to support the local fire department.
• $13,000 to continue Weybridge’s volunteer recycling program.
• A combined total of $21,600 to support various nonprofits and charities benefitting Weybridge and other Addison County communities.
Weybridge residents will be asked to support a 2016-2017 local elementary school spending plan of $1,177,459, representing a 7.19-percent increase compared to this year. But it is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in a 14.38-percent reduction in per-pupil spending compared to this year.
As the Addison Independent went to press, the Vermont Agency of Education was still awaiting clarification from legislators on how Act 46 will affect the “property dollar equivalent yield” used to calculate the homestead education property tax rates in all local school districts. Prior to this confusion, Weybridge’s homestead education tax rate had been pegged to go down by roughly 8 cents — from $2.078 to $1.93 — if the budget were to pass.
Weybridge’s annual meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29, at the Weybridge Elementary School. Australian ballot voting will occur the next day, at the town clerk’s office, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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