CORNWALL — Cornwall town meeting this year should be a low-key affair, with no contested local elections and budget proposals that are less than last year’s.
Residents will be asked to approve a fiscal year 2018 general fund spending plan of $454,249, down from the $$460,946 a year ago. The proposed highway budget of $400,950 is slightly less that the $403,050 that voters authorized for the current year. Combined, the budgets represent a 1.9-percent reduction compared to this year.
Town officials said the highway request is down due to anticipated decreases in payroll and equipment expenses. The general fund request is down because of an expected drop in municipal office expenses.
For the first time in many decades, Cornwall residents will not decide a local school budget on Town Meeting Day. They — along with other voters in the newly unified Addison Central School District (ACSD) — will instead decide a K-12 budget for the entire seven-town district.
The proposed ACSD budget for 2017-2018 calls for approximately $37.7 million in spending to cover the combined operating costs for all nine district schools. The budget reflects $30,428,802 in net, local education spending, which represents a 0.60-percent decrease compared to this year, according to ACSD officials.
Cornwall’s homestead education property tax rate is projected to remains level at roughly $1.60 per $100 in property value, according to ACSD budget documents.
Running this year in uncontested local elections are incumbents Selectmen Brian Kemp and Benjamin Wood for terms of three years and two years, respectively; Rodney Cadoret, one year, collector of delinquent taxes; Cindy Peet and Kristianne Tolgyesi, each for terms of 10 months, on the local elementary school board; and Bobbie Carnworth and James Duclos for three-year terms on the local planning commission. There are no takers right now for several offices, including town moderator (one year); library trustee (two years); and planning commission (three years).
It should be noted the local school board will go out of existence at the end of this year as the ACSD gradually assumes all responsibilities for K-12 public education throughout the ACSD.
In other action at town meeting, Cornwall residents will be asked to:
•  Appropriate $66,900 for the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department.
•  Earmark $4,000 for the Cornwall Free Public Library.
•  Grant a five-year property tax exemption to the Mary Baker Allen Chapter DAR House.
•  Eliminate the elected position of road commissioner, and instead make it an appointed position.
•  Approve a combined $25,620 for various Addison County social service agencies.
Cornwall town meeting will be held at the Bingham Memorial School at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6. Australian ballot voting will take place the next day, also at the school, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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