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2018 Monkton town meeting preview

MONKTON — Monkton will hold its annual town meeting at the Monkton Central School on Saturday, March 3, at 10 a.m. Voting by Australian ballot on seven articles will take place at the Monkton Fire Station on Tuesday, March 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters are asked to approve $1,356,037 in overall town spending for fiscal year 2019, a $42,095, or 3 percent, decrease from the amount approved for the current year.
As part of that overall budget, the selectboard spelled out some components. For instance, proposed spending for salaries and expenses would increase by about 8 percent to $345,979. Highway expenses would decrease by about 6 percent to $832,758.
Russell Memorial Library is asking for $30,800, a 30 perent increase in spending over last year.
Also up for approval in a separate article is $24,399 for 27 social service agencies; the largest individual request is for $5,000 for the Bristol Rescue Squad.
At Saturday’s meeting, residents will also be asked to support a resolution urging the state of Vermont to halt any new or expanded fossil fuel infrastructure, commit to the goal of using at least 90 percent renewable energy in the future, and ensure that the state’s transition to renewable energy is fair and equitable for all. The resolution also lists specific strategies for meeting these goals.
Tim Earl and Bill Martin are running to replace selectboard member Henry Boisse, who is not seeking reelection. Other current town officials are running unopposed for re-election.
Neither Monkton seat on the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board expires this year.
Town meeting agendas will no longer include budget discussions for individual schools. The new MAUSD Board scheduled its own annual meeting for this Feb. 27, as well as a public information hearing on the bond proposed for the renovation of Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School on Feb. 28. On Tuesday, when Monkton residents go to the polls to elect town officials, they — like residents in the other four school district towns — will also be asked to adopt a $28,343,828 MAUSD budget, which represents a 1 percent spending increase per equalized pupil.
On Tuesday they will also vote on the $29.5 million bond for renovation of the 50-year-old Mount Abe building. Voters in the school district have rejected two similar bonds — both for more money — in the past three years.
Finally, on Tuesday at the polls, Monkton residents will be asked to approve the Unified Planning Document that the selectboard OK’d on Jan. 26. The documents, which can be read on the town website, monktonvt.com, provides zoning and subdivision regulations designed for orderly development in town.

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