BRANDON — On Town Meeting Day Brandon voters will consider a municipal budget that features a modest overall spending increase, but voter approval would mean a lower tax rate.
Proposed school spending is rising about 1.5 percent.
Brandon’s annual town meeting will take place on Monday beginning at 7 p.m. in the main hall of the Brandon Town Hall — a new venue after the meetings were held at Neshobe School for years. Voting on town and school budgets and officers will take place Tuesday at the town hall, downstairs, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The town budget proposes spending $2,999,986, which is up roughly 1.8 percent from the current year. But the amount to be raised by taxes is warned at $2,559,066, which represents a 1.1 percent decrease, from 94.37 cents to 93.43 cents per $100 of property value.
The big difference, officials said, is there is $50,000 less allocated for paving under a special appropriation on the warning this year than there was in the current town budget.
On a separate note, the proposed Brandon town budget would increase Highway Department health insurance spending almost $10,000, to $75,300, and worker’s compensation from $23,300 to $32,250.
The line items for highway fuel and mowing were cut: fuel is down from $30,000 to $20,000 and mowing spending is cut from $5,800 to $1,000. The town purchased a new roadside mowing attachment, thus saving on contracted mowing costs, and fuel is now being purchased in bulk and the price per gallon has dropped, town officials explained.
Brandon residents will also vote on about a dozen appropriations that would affect the tax rate, including $20,755 for the Brandon Area Rescue Squad; $85,500 for the Brandon Free Public Library; $13,500 for the Brandon Senior Center; $10,200 for Rutland Area Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice; and $6,000 for the Brandon Independence Day Celebration Committee.
There are no races for any office. Among the town office holders on the ballot will be incumbent Town Clerk Susan Gage (three-year term), incumbent Selectman Doug Bailey (three years), and incumbent Selectmen Seth Hopkins and Brian Coolidge (two one-year seats).
A meeting for the Otter Valley Unified Union School District, comprising the towns of Goshen, Brandon, Leicester, Pittsford, Sudbury and Whiting, took place on Wednesday, March 1, (after deadline for this issue of the Independent) at Otter Valley Union High School. Among other items, attendees elected a moderator, clerk and treasurer.
On Tuesday, March 7, by Australian ballot at town hall, Brandon residents will vote on the proposed school budget for the unified district, which set total spending of $19,772,608. If approved, education spending would increase to $14,708 per equalized student, which is 1.47 percent higher than spending for the 2016 fiscal year.
Brandon residents will also vote for four school directors for the OVUUSD — with one contested race. On the ballot will be Dick White running unopposed for a three-year term. Brandon voters also will cast ballots for three at-large school board members — two candidates are facing off to finish the remaining two years on a three-year seat, Barbara Ebling and Eileen Guyette; plus two candidates for two three-year seats are running unopposed, Emily Nelson and Matt Philo.

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