2016 Brandon Town Meeting Wrap Up
BRANDON — For the second year in a row, Brandon voters threw their support behind the town budget as proposed and all ballot items passed on Town Meeting Day.
The $2,486,822 net municipal spending plan passed, 735-459; that figure represented a spending increase of $51,452, or 2.11 percent, over the current budget. The projected tax bill increase comes to $10.80 per $100,000 of property value. The average home in Brandon is valued at $170,000 and therefore the tax increase would amount to $18.36 for the year.
Two large infrastructure bonds also passed, giving the town money for matching funds on several key downtown projects, as well as much needed upgrades to a section of the town wastewater system.
Article I asked voters to approve an $835,200 bond to raise the matching funds needed for the Neshobe River overflow culvert, the Segment 6 upgrade of Route 7 through downtown Brandon, and the rehabilitation of Bridge 114 on Center Street at the foot of West Seminary Street.
The bond passed by a vote of 892-249.
Article II addressed a need to upgrade a portion of the town’s wastewater treatment operation. Voters approved up to $680,000 for a 20-year bond to finance improvements to the Champlain Street wastewater pump station, re-sleeving sewer pipes from the Champlain Street pump station to Park Village, and replacing the force sewer main from the pump station up to the area around the Brandon Baptist Church.
Thanks to a pay-off in recent weeks of a previous wastewater bond, this new bond will not cost ratepayers any more than what they are currently paying.
The bond passed, 885-255.
With Tuesday’s voter approval, the town will now be able to apply to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan program and find out how much of the project, up to 45 percent, the federal government is willing to fund.
The library appropriation of $85,000 was approved, as was $13,500 for the Brandon Senior Center and a $10,000 appropriation to the Brandon Boys & Girls Club.
Brandon voters also approved:
• Spending $100,250 for paving projects in cooperation with Fire District No. 1, 999-196.
• Spending $24,000 for a grant match to replace a culvert on Wheeler Road, 872-306.
• Allocating $18,000 for sidewalk work on Maple and Union streets in order to avoid paying back $78,000 in grant funds, 854-323.
Voters overwhelmingly approved budgets on Tuesday for the new Otter Valley Unified Union School District formed under the state’s Act 46 school consolidation bill. The OVUU budget of $22,604,806 passed by a tally of 1,920-846 by voters in Brandon, Pittsford, Goshen, Leicester, Whiting and Sudbury.
In candidate news, the only race this town meeting in Brandon was for town and school moderator. Challenger Bill Moore won the one-year seat over incumbent Hanford “Skip” Davis, 727-489.
None of the three selectmen running for re-election were challenged. Devon Fuller won another three-year seat with 1,023 votes, and board Chair Doug Bailey (961) and Selectman Ethan Swift (820) each won re-election to their one-year seats.
Sharron Kenney was re-elected to her three-year seat as Trustee of Public Funds (1,097) and to her two-year seat on the Brandon Free Public Library Board of Trustees (1,100).
There were no challengers to Jeff Guevin’s bid for re-election to one-year terms as town agent (959) and grand juror (956).