Middlebury approves town budget warning

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury selectboard members OK’d a town spending plan and town meeting warning at their Tuesday meeting.
The board unanimously endorsed a proposed 2017-2018 municipal budget of $10,321,456, of which $7,106,034 would be raised by taxes.
The amount to be raised by taxes would result in a 0.42-cent decrease in the current municipal rate, which would drop to 95.22 cents per $100 in property value. The selectboard achieved this, in part, by applying a larger than anticipated surplus from the fiscal year 2016 budget year.
Also without dissent, board members approved a town meeting warning for the annual gathering on Monday, March 6, and for Australian ballot voting on Tuesday, March 7.
Residents at the annual meeting will only face two significant votes: To approve a fiscal year 2017-2018 municipal budget of $10,321,456, and spend $106,000 to replace two police cruisers and a wood chipper for the Public Works Department.
But voters will have a chance to weigh in on some additional town business on March 7. They’ll cast ballots in local elections and will be asked to support a police canine program for $30,610; a citizen-initiated proposal to increase selectboard members’ annual stipend from the current $1,500 to $2,500 (and the chairperson’s stipend from $1,800 to $3,200); a request for $2,500 for the non-profit Addison County Restorative Justice Services; a request for $1,200 for the Addison County Riverwatch Collaborative; and to exempt Middlebury Regional EMS from local taxes, beginning April 1, 2017.

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