PANTON — Panton residents on Tuesday made some adjustments to proposed town spending at town meeting, where they also chose a new selectwoman.
In Australian balloting overall Addison Northwest School District voters backed the first-ever proposed unified union budget, but Panton voted against by a slim margin.
Panton voters also nominated and elected from the floor of town meeting for the selectboard Teresa Smith, who will serve the remainder of a one-year term vacated by Beth Tarallo, who resigned. Incumbent Zach Weaver, originally appointed to replace Tarallo, agreed to serve a longer term, according to board Chairman Howard Hall.
Vergennes-Panton Water Commissioner Meddy Perry was also returned to office, as was Vergennes Union Elementary School director Jason Fearon, who will see limited duties until that board dissolves at the end of 2017.
Residents backed the selectboard proposal of a $647,400 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget to fund town government, maintain town buildings and take care of town roads. It contains an increase of about $4,000 — or less than 1 percent — over this year’s budget.
Residents voted in some adjustments to capital appropriations requested by the board, however.
They backed $20,000 each for highway department capital equipment and capital project funds and $2,000 each for the highway department truck/equipment tire, reappraisal, and digital/IT funds, but added $23,000 to the board’s $15,000 proposal for the Town Hall Restoration Fund. That money came from a surplus from the 2015-2016 fiscal year that Hall said was largely due to the mild winter.  
Residents also backed the transfer of $55,000 from that year-end surplus to the Highway Capital Equipment Fund, but voted down the selectboard’s proposed transfer of another $10,856 from that undesignated fund balance to the Rainy Day Fund. Instead, they voted to designated $10,404 to lower 2017-2018 property tax bills.
Town voters approved moving $15,000 received from Green Mountain Power in 2016 from the general fund to the Town Hall Restoration Fund to be used to restore and upgrade Panton Town Hall, making a total addition to that fund of $53,000, Hall said.
Overall, ANWSD residents backed the proposed first-ever unified union budget of $21,116,289 by 924-699. In Panton the vote ran against, 51-48, a plan that will support the four ANWSD schools and its central office, plus the district’s share of the Hannaford Career Center budget.
Panton residents joined their peers in other ANWSD towns in supporting the creation of a $100,000 capital improvement fund by a margin of 1,008-608. The vote in Panton ran 60-39 in favor. 

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