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Hancock

HANCOCK — As in their neighboring town to the north, Hancock residents at town meeting on Tuesday will elect a selectboard member and a school board member. They will also vote on proposed decreases in spending for town services and in the school budget.
For the first time, Hancock Town Meeting will be held in the volunteer fire department building, not far from the town hall. Start time on Tuesday, March 7, is 10 a.m.
Long-time Selectman John Ross’ term expires Tuesday. Voters will elect someone to a three-year term for that spot. He is expected to vie for that spot.
Incumbent Kenneth Troumbley’s term on the school board is also up, and a three-year term will be voted on for that spot.  It is expected that he will be available to be re-elected, too.
Other positions up for election at town meeting are several with three-year terms: lister, cemetery commissioner, auditor and budget committee; and several with one-year terms: constable, town agent, grand juror, road commissioner, delinquent tax collector and White River Valley Ambulance board member. A five-year term as a library trustee will also be voted on.
Voters will see the amount requested for Hancock town services fall more than 4 percent to $417,470 from the amended amount approved last year: $435,170. Town Clerk Olivia Drury said a large reason for that decrease is that less money was asked for to put in the town hall renovation fund.
Voters will get a say on whether to spend $50,000 for a used tanker truck.
Residents will vote on appropriations to a dozen organizations, the largest of which is $19,380 to White River Valley Ambulance.
Residents will vote on school spending for the coming year proposed at $847,654, down 12.2 percent from the current year due largely to changes in the number of students in town. It is estimated that spending per equalized pupil would rise about 1.2 percent to $17,344.
School directors are expected to discuss how Act 46, Vermont’s school governance unification law, could affect Hancock.
School governance has already seen a big change. In 2016, Windsor Northwest and Orange Windsor supervisory unions merged to form the White River Valley Supervisory Union, which encompasses 10 towns. Hancock and Granville are the only two towns in the union that tuition all of their students to the schools of the student’s choice.
Voters in Hancock and Granville will vote on April 11 on whether to created the Granville Hancock Unified District. If this is approved, and some other moves in the White River Valley SU are approved, Granville Hancock would see four years of property tax breaks. In addition to the tax breaks, it is hoped that the unification would level out the swings in student numbers and thus swings up and down in the education taxes residents pay.

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