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Starksboro

STARKSBORO — Starksboro residents will assemble at Robinson Elementary School on Saturday, March 4, at 9 a.m. for their annual town meeting.
Articles to be voted on the floor include a $1,360,885 general fund budget and $2,721,254 in spending for Robinson Elementary School.
With voters in the five towns approving district unification in last November’s election, this is the last year that Starksboro residents will vote the Robinson budget from the floor of town meeting.
The 2017-2018 Starksboro town budget is up $16,817 from last year’s, an increase of 1.6 percent. Of the $1.4 million in expenditures, $691,111 is to be raised by taxes, an increase of $13,917, or 2.1 percent.
Other articles ask residents to approve:
•  $44,653 for the fire equipment reserve fund (up $1,300 from last year).
•  $88,849 for the road equipment reserve fund (up $661 from last year).
•  $27,450 for the Starksboro Public Library (up $925 from last year).
A total of $40,925 is proposed for six in-town organizations, including the Starksboro Volunteer Fire Department, the Robinson Mentoring Program, and the Starksboro Cooperative Preschool. All sums are the same as last year, with the exception that no money is proposed this year for Project Read.
Requests for out-of-town social service agencies total $29,599, up $1,420 from last year. All out-of-town funds requests are the same as last year with four exceptions:
•  Bristol Rescue Squad, $7,500 (up $1,500).
•  Hospice Volunteer Services, $500 (up $150).
•  John Graham Emergency Shelter, $970 (down $330).
•  Vermont Rural Fire Protection Task Force, $100 (new in 2017).
Robinson Elementary’s spending proposal represents a $200,217 decrease (6.85 percent) from the $2,921,471 in total expenditures approved last March. The proposed $2.7 million spending plan requires $2,538,864 to be raised by taxes, an increase of $46,859 (1.88 percent) over the $2,492,005 voted to be raised last year.
Starksboro voted in December 2016 to increase its selectboard from three to five persons. So on Town Meeting Day, residents will vote by Australian ballot for three selectboard positions, including the two new ones.
Koran Cousino and Jeff Dunham are competing for a one-year seat. Dan Baker and current Selectman Peter Marsh are running against each other for a two-year seat. Keegan Tierney is running unopposed for the three-year seat currently held by Marsh.
All other candidates for Starksboro town and school offices are running unopposed.
Also on Town Meeting Day, voters will have their say on the proposed $12,261,839 Mount Abraham Union High School budget.
The Mount Abe spending represents an 8.42 percent decrease from the current academic year. That budget includes $1 million to fix the aging Mount Abe building.
Starksboro town meeting begins at 9 a.m. this Saturday at Robinson Elementary School. Voting by Australian ballot will take place on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 7, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. also at the school.

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